Lexington, SC - Jaren Bernard-Alan Meyers, 19, of Gaston, pled guilty to Armed Robbery, two counts of Kidnapping, Criminal Conspiracy, and Possession of a Weapon during a Violent Crime Wednesday. He sentenced by Circuit Court Judge William P Keesley, to a total of twenty- five (25) years in prison. Under South Carolina Law, Armed Robbery and Kidnapping are classified as violent and “no parole” offenses.
On December 30, 2017, Meyers along with two other individuals committed a string of armed robberies in Lexington and Richland County. That night, they robbed the Dollar General on Charleston Highway. The investigation determined Meyers was the person carrying the gun and giving verbal commands to two of the employees. One of the other individuals grabbed the money from the register and a third individual was the driver. The victims were able to provide law enforcement with a vehicle description and tag number. The group later went on to commit robberies at the Exxon on Elmwood in Richland County, the Waffle House on Sunset Blvd in West Columbia, and the McDonalds on Garners Ferry Road.
Law enforcement from multiple agencies quickly determined they were dealing with the same group of people because the vehicle description and tag number were consistent in the robberies. Prior to this night, Meyers was also involved in two other robberies in Lexington County with a fourth individual on December 24th and December 26th.
The vehicle used on the night of December 30th was registered to Sugarhill Lane in Gaston. Law enforcement positioned themselves at exit 119 off I-26. They fortunately observed the vehicle taking the exit and a high speed pursuit followed. When the vehicle stopped, two individuals ran from the vehicle. Law enforcement was able to apprehend one of the individuals that night along with the shoes and clothes he was wearing in the robberies.
During the investigation, law enforcement recovered all three individuals’ cell phones and obtained cell phone records. Cell phone records put all three individuals together the entire night and in the general area of the robberies. Their routes were also consistent with traveling to and from the robbery locations. Also, law enforcement located conversations between Meyers and the individuals about carrying out the robberies.
Meyers has been validated by the Lexington County Gang Unit as a gang member. He was out on bond when these robberies occurred. The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, West Columbia Police Department, and Richland County Sheriff Department were involved in the investigation of these robberies. Assistant Solicitor Sutania A. Fuller prosecuted this case for the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office.