Mount Pleasant teens accused in thefts

Isaac David Waters (left) and William Heyward McCants

When a platinum, cultured pearl and diamond Tiffany necklace valued at more than $125,000 was taken from a Kiawah Island home Jan. 28, the victim wondered why the thieves didn't also take a matching $25,000 bracelet and an $8,000 Rolex watch that were nearby.

Altogether, there were six homes burglarized on the island that day.

As it turns out, authorities said, the high-dollar heists weren't the work of professional jewel thieves.

Two Mount Pleasant teenagers have been accused of stealing jewelry, coins and more during the one-day crime spree.

William Heyward McCants, 18, of Bennett Street, is charged with one count of first-degree burglary and four counts of second-degree burglary, said Charleston County sheriff's Maj. John Clark.

McCants was arrested Thursday and was being held in the Cannon Detention Center pending a bond hearing scheduled for today.

Isaac David Waters, 17, of Wando Reach Court, is charged with one count of first-degree burglary and two counts of second-degree burglary, Clark said.

Waters was arrested April 28 and released the next day on a 10 percent, $20,000 surety bond set by Circuit Judge Thomas Hughston. As a condition of his release, Waters is under house arrest and is prohibited from Kiawah Island, sheriff's detective Nick Wagner said. With this type of bond, his family was able to post $2,000 in cash to obtain his release.

The crime spree began with the two high school seniors taking a day off to attend a friend's funeral but deciding to go to Kiawah instead, Wagner said. McCants attends First Baptist High School and Waters attends Porter-Gaud, Wagner said.

Waters has a parent who lives on Kiawah, the detective said. That is how they were able to get inside the gated community.

"They wanted to steal from their own parents," Wagner said, because there was "so much jewelry they wouldn't notice if it was missing."

According to an incident report filed Jan. 29, the day after the break-ins, the Tiffany necklace was among the $132,310 worth of jewelry and coins stolen from a house on Cormorant Island Lane. The complainant in that case was David Michael Waters, the father of one of the teens. Waters is not pressing charges, Wagner said.

Wagner said the boys were drinking that day and that they did a few burglaries, took a break, then did a few more. They drove around at first in a Land Rover, then switched to a Range Rover.

They took jewelry, liquor, golf clubs, electronics, briefcases, passports, silver dollars, coins, and collectibles, according to arrest warrants. From the five burglary victims who are prosecuting, there was more than $54,000 worth of items taken.

One of the boys was to turn 18 the next day, Wagner said. "They figured he would be able to pawn everything since he would be 18."

The day after the break-ins, the jewelry was taken to Gold and Diamond Exchange, where the 18-year-old walked out with $6,000 in cash, a check for $9,000 and a Rolex watch, Wagner said. Three sets of golf clubs were taken to an Edwin Watts golf shop, where they were traded in for a set of better clubs and some cash.

"They went out and partied the next day to celebrate the birthday and got drunk," Wagner said. "The boy drove his father's Range Rover home and he was so drunk he just tossed him the keys."

The father found a gun and other stolen items in his vehicle, Wagner said. Just a few hours earlier, he had reported his own place having been burglarized, Wagner said. "He realized what was going on."

The family contacted a lawyer who came to the Sheriff's Office on Feb. 3 and turned over some of the stolen goods, Wagner said.

According to the arrest warrants, the lawyer was representing Waters.

Detectives got warrants to search the vehicles and to collect physical evidence, including DNA and fingerprints, Wagner said. "We knew the family would not prosecute, so we had no evidence to go on except the physical evidence."

It took more than two months for results to come back, but late in April, a fingerprint taken from one of the crime scenes was matched with Waters, and he was arrested. According to arrest warrants, Waters then implicated McCants.

Attempts to reach attorneys for the two teens Thursday night were unsuccessful.