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Sheriff James R. Metts

Major John Allard, PIO Office, 785-2415, 24-Hour Press Box: 799-2001, Ext. 1100

Detectives Arrest Man Who Broke Into Home and Stole Five Firearms

Lexington County Sheriff’s Department detectives on Thursday, October 3 arrested a 24-year-old Leesville man on a charge that the man broke into a home on Tuesday, October 1 on Pond Branch Road near Leesville and stole three rifles and two shotguns worth a combined total of more than $4,000.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said detectives arrested Austin Lyle Switzer, 24, of 2710 Pond Branch Road, Leesville, on an arrest warrant on a charge of first-degree burglary. Switzer was being held on Thursday at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting a bond hearing.

Switzer is scheduled to appear in court for a bond hearing at 10 a.m. on Friday, October 4, Metts said. The bond hearing will be conducted at a courtroom that is adjacent to the front entrance of the county Detention Center at the Lexington County James R. Metts Law Enforcement Complex, 521 Gibson Road, Lexington.

An arrest warrant alleges that Switzer broke into the home on Pond Branch Road by forcing open the rear door sometime after 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Metts said. Switzer stole one Savage 10FXP 30-06 rifle, one Windham AR-15 rifle, one Remington 700 shotgun, one Stoger M-2000 12-gauge shotgun and one Marlin 60 semi-automatic .22-caliber rifle worth a combined total of $4,900. Witnesses told detectives that Switzer was in the vicinity of the home at the time of the break-in and later tried to sell the firearms that were reported stolen.

After detectives executed a search warrant at Switzer’s home, the arrest warrant further alleges that detectives recovered several of the firearms that had been reported stolen from the home on Pond Branch Road, Metts said. Switzer was armed with a weapon when he broke into the Pond Branch Road home.

In addition to stealing the five firearms from the Pond Branch Road home, Switzer also stole one Gerber LMF2 survival knife, five magazines for the AR-15 rifle, one camouflage backpack, one Toshiba laptop computer, two black hard cases for transporting firearms, one Sony Play Station 3 video game console, one video game controller, one headset and several video games.

Metts asked anyone with information about additional criminal activity involving Switzer to call the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department at (803) 785-8230 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Citizens also can provide information anonymously by accessing the Crime Tip link on the Sheriff’s Department web site (


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