Illustration by Steve Stegelin

The Blotter is taken from reports filed with Charleston Police Department between Jan. 19 and Jan. 25. No one described in this section has been found guilty, just unlucky.

BLOTTER O’ THE WEEK: Remember how some reports include a pretty eclectic mix of items that were stolen? This time we have two Xbox controller battery packs, an Amazon Fire stick and two Masonic books, one of which was titled, according to the report, Masonic Lodge of a place that begins with ‘A.’

Mysterious photos depicting a Black man in a white robe adorned with an “unknown symbol” appeared stapled to various trees along multiple downtown streets. On the back of the posters is the same robed man, but the symbol is printed at the top of the poster instead of on the robe. These cults are starting to get real creative with their recruitment strategies.

One handgun was stolen from the glovebox of a West Ashley vehicle. The twist: the car was a Volkswagen Jetta, the car we’d least expect a gun to be found in.

A James Island woman waited several days to report that her car had been broken into and her debit cards, Social Security card and medical insurance card had been stolen because she “didn’t want to deal with it.” You know what we wouldn’t want to deal with? Identity theft.
Police pulled over a vehicle for suspected driving under the influence and asked the driver if he had been drinking. The man replied, “Yeah, yeah I have.” Officers told him they were concerned for his safety, to which he replied he was concerned as well. Glad we’re all on the same page.

A leather jacket, a black leather belt and a pair of police pants were stolen from the back of a city vehicle parked outside of a West Ashley residence.
No other items were missing, so we are expecting another report of theft to complete the thief’s Halloween 2021 costume.

A downtown man reported his BMW had been stolen, and a yellow Huffy bicycle was left in its place. This is probably just a misunderstanding, the “thief” clearly thought this was a buy/sell/trade transaction. The real crime then is thinking a bike is worth about as much as a BMW.

Throughout the week’s reports, no less than 32 bags of frozen shrimp were reported stolen from various grocery stores around Charleston. At least thieves have moved on from perfume and catalytic converters.

A West Ashley business owner reported his truck’s catalytic converter had been stolen, and video surveillance caught the whole act on tape. Guess we spoke too soon.

Police noticed two men fighting over an open bottle of vodka on a downtown sidewalk and asked them to dispose of its contents. One of the men reportedly pulled a fresh, unopened bottle of vodka from his pocket and disposed of that one as well, begging the question: Why were they fighting over the first one?

Police confiscated a plastic bag containing 4.6 grams of cocaine from a West Ashley man’s pocket and later found nearly 200 grams of marijuana in his car. Just when we thought we were going to get through a Blotter without copious amounts of illicit drugs making an appearance.