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Home  |  News  |  Investigators searching for Columbia man after IOP 'standoff'

Investigators searching for Columbia man after IOP 'standoff'

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

ISLE OF PALMS, SC (WCSC) - Authorities are on the lookout for a Columbia man after police and SWAT teams surrounded an Isle of Palms hotel and found his room empty.

Officials with the Charleston County Sheriff's Office say they are looking for Justin Ainsworth who they say may still be in the area. Ainsworth is wanted for banking and identity crimes in South Carolina and in Georgia.

Investigators say they thought that Ainsworth was in a hotel room at The Palms Hotel Thursday morning. Around noon, two explosions were heard at the scene.

A short time later, SWAT teams entered the hotel room with Ainsworth nowhere to be found.

Isle of Palms police say on Wednesday, officers made contact with Ainsworth and his friend who they say were drinking at a marina. According to police, when the officers approached, Ainsworth took off running.

Investigators say they then pulled over Ainsworth's friend for a minor traffic charge Thursday morning. When officers checked the tags of the vehicle, it revealed that the car belonged to Ainsworth who was wanted in South Carolina and Georgia.

The man driving the vehicle then told police that both he and Ainsworth were staying at The Palms Hotel.

If you, or someone you know, have any information regarding any crime, you are encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers. You could earn a reward up to $1,000.

Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 554-1111, toll free at 1-888-CRIME-SC, or online at Texters can send anonymous tips to CRIMES (274637), and mark the beginning of the message with "TIPCSL". Text STOP to 274637 to cancel. Text HELP to 274637 for help. Msg&Data Rates May Apply.


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