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Lincoln authorities: Irish Travelers are back

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- Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office photo
Barney Sherlock, 45, of North Augusta, Ga., was arrested this week in Lincoln County and charged with breaking into a 90-year-old woman’s house and taking personal possessions. (Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office photo)

Lincoln County authorities are warning residents that the so-called Irish Travelers have returned, and they have arrested an alleged member of the group on three felony charges.

Barney Sherlock, 45, of North Augusta, S.C., was arrested Monday after he allegedly pushed his way into the home of an elderly Lincoln County woman, the sheriff’s office said.

Investigators said Sherlock is a member of the Irish Travelers, a group based in North Augusta. The sheriff’s office alleged that members of the group have been responsible for a number of scams and other crimes in recent years. Investigators said the Irish Travelers usually visit Lincoln County in the spring but apparently are appearing now.

Authorities said Sherlock told a 90-year-old woman that he was a utility worker and had been working on power lines nearby. According to investigators, Sherlock told the woman that he needed to check on her power and pushed his way into the home. Sherlock is accused of stealing the woman’s jewelry box while in the house.

He was arrested during a traffic stop Monday on Old Plank Road. Deputies said Sherlock was charged with breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, and possession of stolen goods. He was jailed under $50,500 bond.

Sheriff David Carpenter said members of the Irish Travelers in the past have visited the homes of elderly residents and tried to sell home services. Carpenter alleged that in some cases, one of the people trying to sell the services engages a resident in discussion, another member goes through the house and steals items of value.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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