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Sloppy! Crooks botch getaway after homeowner fires at them — and bloodhound team nabs one shot suspect in swamp


After entering woods, one of their vehicles stalled while their other auto got stuck

Image source: Aiken County Sheriff's Office, composite

An alleged residential heist by a trio of men apparently became a comedy of errors in rapid fashion Thursday morning in Ridge Spring, South Carolina.

What are the details?

A homeowner told Aiken County Sheriff's deputies he was walking his dog around 8:30 a.m. when he saw at least two men and two vehicles on his property, the Augusta Chronicle reported.

The man told deputies he approached the suspects, yelled, and fired shots at them, the paper said.

With that, the suspects high-tailed it their vehicles and drove away through the woods, the Chronicle reported.

But alas, their getaway fell a bit short when one vehicle got stuck and the other stalled on Cobblestone Road, the paper said, adding that the suspects reportedly opted for Plan B and ran off on foot.

Enter the Bloodhound Team

But never fear, the Aiken Bloodhound Tracking Team and additional deputies responded to the area to search for the suspects, the Chronicle said.

And wouldn't you know that the bloodhound team later found and detained James Franklin Fink Jr. in a swamp adjacent to Whispering Pines Road, the paper said.

James Franklin Fink Jr.Image source: Aiken County Sheriff's Office

Fink was found with a gunshot wound to his left hand, taken to a hospital for treatment, and then booked into the Aiken County Detention Center, the Chronicle said. Jail records show the 46-year-old suspect was still in jail Friday. He's expected to be charged with second-degree burglary and grand larceny, the paper added.

In addition, Alister Keith Wingard, 32, and Brandon Lee Hall, 23, were identified as additional suspects and also are expected to be charged with burglary and grand larceny, the Chronicle said.

Alister Keith Wingard (left) and Brandon Lee HallImage source: Aiken County Sheriff's Office (composite)

Anyone with information on Hall and Wingard is asked to contact the Aiken County Sheriff's Office at 803-648-6811, the paper added.

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