HAMLET — The suspect in the theft of The Ponder Project’s trailer and gear was apprehended at a hospital in Greenville County, South Carolina and is being held on numerous charges, including those filed by the Hamlet Police Department.
Darrin Coke Bryant, 44, of Greenville, South Carolina was in a life-threatening motorcycle accident on Sunday, apparently caused by hitting a deer, according to Detective Corey Wilson. Bryant gave a false name to both the Highway Patrol and the hospital, but HPD received an anonymous tip that allowed them to cooperate with local authorities to get a positive ID on Bryant, Wilson said.
Bryant attempted to leave the hospital, but was stopped by law enforcement, according to Wilson.
HPD has not yet had the chance to interview Bryant to attempt to learn the whereabouts of Ponder’s gear. Wilson said Bryant is cooperating with Greenville County authorities and is “willing to talk” with HPD.
“Once we get him face-to-face we’ll know more,” Wilson said.
The trailer was carrying $50,000 worth of gear when Bryant allegedly took it from the “well lit” car port in the driveway of Bobby Pearce, a founding member of Ponder, in the early morning hours of Oct. 26. Bryant was spotted by a surveillance camera early that morning driving a red truck past the Hamlet Depot. That truck was stolen from Greer, South Carolina and has been recovered, according to Wilson.
HPD has not yet determined why Bryant was in Hamlet nor whether he has any connection to the band. Wilson said extradition could take time because of Bryant’s other charges in South Carolina.
“He’s pretty familiar with authorities down there,” he said.
HPD has charged Bryant with felony larceny. The Greer Police Department has charged Bryant with one felony count each of obtaining property by false pretenses, forgery, grand larceny of over $10,000, identity theft and possession of a stolen vehicle, according to court records.
Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]