Five suspects, including three Matthews teens and an adult who allegedly directed them, have been charged in connection with a home invasion in Indian Trail, according to the Union County Sheriff’s Office.
Charged in the case were Zane Austin Cassell, 18, of Matthews; Ronald Dean Foster Jr., 34, of Matthews; Alexander Paul St. Clair, 20, of West Columbia, S.C.; Nicholas Andrew Upton, 17, of Matthews; and Cameron Thomas White, 18, of Matthews.
Investigators said Foster “planned the crime in detail” and solicited at least one of the teens to commit the theft. Foster was later found in possession of items stolen in the robbery, authorities said.
The home invasion was reported shortly before 11 p.m. in the Village of Indian Trail neighborhood. Investigators said three suspects entered the back door of a house occupied by three adults.
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Two of the suspects, including one who had a laser sighting device, allegedly pointed assault rifles at the victims, authorities said. Meanwhile, the third suspect removed a safe from a bedroom, according to investigators. The three suspects then ran off.
Deputies launched a manhunt, including the use of the K-9 dog search unit, but they became convinced that the suspects had driven off. The safe contained cash, collectible coins and other items, according to investigators.
Authorities said the investigation led them to three Matthews teens and a 20-year-old from West Columbia, S.C. Detectives said they found several items stolen from the home, and they say a search of the West Columbia suspect’s home yielded two assault rifles and the vehicle used in the home invasion.
Investigators said the teens and St. Clair were charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, first-degree burglary, safecracking and felony conspiracy. Foster was charged with solicitation to commit a felony and felony possession of stolen goods, authorities said.