Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Barney Sherlock, 45, of 1242 Edgefield Road, North Augusta, South Carolina, after he allegedly pushed his way into a 90-year-old woman’s home in June.
Sherlock claimed to have been working on nearby power lines and gained entry into the home, saying he needed to check that she had power. Once Sherlock made his way into the home, he took a jewelry box reported to be full of costume jewelry, according to a press release.
Sherlock was charged with one felony count each of breaking and entering a building, larceny after breaking and entering and possession of stolen goods. He was also charged with one misdemeanor count each of simple assault on a handicapped person, assault on a female by a male over 18 years old and an open container of alcohol.
Sherlock was given a $50,500 secured bond and is scheduled for a first appearance in Lincoln County District Court on Tuesday.
Sherlock is believed to be a member of what is known as the Irish Travelers, a group based out of the North Augusta area that makes an annual trip to the area.
They are known for using pushy sales tactics against the elderly for home improvement work, like driveway blacktopping, roof work or painting. Their targets are generally people who are 60 years of age or older, home alone most of the day and people that would typically have more cash on hand in their home than in their bank.
A press release from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said Sheriff David Carpenter urges residents and the community to be vigilant about anyone they allow onto their property and especially into their homes.
He encouraged them to ask questions, to have persons to remain outside your home and to call 911 immediately to report anything that they are not comfortable with.
Most “Irish Travelers” drive utility trucks with South Carolina, North Carolina or Georgia license plates.