DNA evidence leads to arrest in West Ashley car break-ins

Bobby Eugene Warthaw Jr., 27, of Dowling Street in North Charleston, faces five counts of breaking into a motor vehicle. (Provided)

Charleston police used DNA evidence to solve a year-old string of car break-ins in West Ashley.

The evidence resulted in the arrest of Bobby Eugene Warthaw Jr., 27, of Dowling Street in North Charleston, on five counts of breaking into a motor vehicle, Charleston police spokesman Charles Francis said.

Warthaw is also the man Charleston police say helped them solve the June 2012 slaying of 17-year-old Marley Lion in West Ashley.

Warthaw informed authorities that someone was trying to sell the suspected murder weapon on the streets of the Ardmore neighborhood, authorities said. He arranged a meeting and bought the gun from Ryan P. Deleston for $200 and police recorded the purchase on video.

Warthaw received $13,200 in exchange for his help. Deleston was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

The string of break-ins occurred between 12:30 and 4:30 a.m. Dec. 23, 2013, at Ashley Oaks Apartments, 78 Ashley Hall Plantation Road, Francis said. Stereo systems, vehicle parts, clothing and electronic equipment were reported stolen.

The State Law Enforcement Division’s Forensic Services Laboratory extracted DNA from evidence gathered at the scene of the break-ins, Francis said. A search of the Combined DNA Index System linked the DNA to Warthaw, he said.

The incidents remain under investigation.

Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.