Police arrest booze-theft suspect He also may be cop impersonator


North Charleston police arrested a man Friday night accused of breaking into a yacht and stealing $1,000 worth of booze.

Police think he also might be the same man who impersonated law enforcement officers and robbed two men this week, police spokesman Spencer Pryor said.

For now, Jesse Gregory, 28, of North Charleston, is charged in connection with a boat burglary that happened Sept. 21, Pryor said.

Police staked him out in the Wando Woods neighborhood. Gregory tried to flee but wrecked his vehicle, Pryor said.

A man told police a thief broke into his father’s 58-foot, 1996 Viking motorboat on Stoney Poynt Court, ransacked the vessel and stole numerous bottles of alcohol and a 46-inch Sony television valued at $1,500.

Police confiscated an empty bottle of Crown Royal liquor and a cellphone thought to be left behind on the yacht by the thief. Fingerprints found at the scene linked Gregory to the crime, Pryor said.

Police think Gregory also is the man who robbed two Hispanic men on Monday while posing as an immigration officer, Pryor said. He also is suspected of approaching another Hispanic man Tuesday while posing as a Summerville police officer, he said.

Gregory matched the description of the police impersonator and drives a vehicle similar to the one involved in the two incidents, Pryor said. Gregory’s Flynn Drive address in North Charleston also is near the two incidents and the boat burglary, he said.

In the first incident, a man drove up to a West Montague Avenue home in a newer model, champagne-colored Jeep Cherokee, claimed to be an immigration official and flashed a badge. He asked for the men’s ID cards and documentation, searched them, then took their wallets, cellphones and almost $500 in cash before driving toward Dorchester Road, police said.

The following day, another man told police that a stranger driving a newer model, gold sport utility vehicle approached him on Dorsey Avenue, flashed a badge on his left hip and claimed to be a Summerville police officer.

The stranger claimed to have heard about someone smoking marijuana in the area, but said he would forget the whole thing if the man gave him $20, the report said. Authorities said the police impersonator drove away when the man ran inside his home and called 911.

Pryor said that police recovered a Summerville code enforcement officer’s badge from Gregory during his arrest.

Gregory has been convicted of several grand larceny charges, resisting arrest, strong-arm robbery and other offenses, according to State Law Enforcement Division records.

He will be back in court this morning for a bond hearing.

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