ANDERSON – A 39-year-old Pelzer man is in jail in Anderson County on multiple charges after police say he tried to break into several homes and vehicles – all while clad in only underwear and socks.
Stephen Anthony Laughter was charged with first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary, housebreaking, grand larceny, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, giving false information to police and two counts of malicious injury to real property.
He was also served with a warrant for criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature due to an incident on June 27 when he tried to stab his girlfriend with a screwdriver.
Laughter is being held at the Anderson County Detention Center where bond has been denied on seven of the nine charges. A hold was also been placed on him by Greenville County Sheriff’s Office for multiple burglaries and other offenses committed in that jurisdiction.
According to police reports, Anderson County deputies were en route to a prowler call around 1:30 a.m. last Wednesday on Berwick Court in Easley when they were notified that a suspicious person was knocking on doors in the Mayfield Lake Subdivision.
They responded to Hunt Road where the property owner reported that a man wearing only underwear and socks had broken into his workshop, armed himself with a knife and tried to steal a Lincoln Town Car.
Deputies received multiple calls regarding a suspect ringing doorbells and attempting to break into cars in the area. Deputies were subsequently routed to a nearby residence on Jala Lake Drive. When Laughter spotted officers, he picked up and threw a shop vacuum into the home’s glass patio door, but he was unable to make entry into the home.
A foot pursuit ensued. Laughter was located on the deck of a second residence on Jala Lake Drive. When confronted by officers, he kicked in the back patio door and was confronted by the homeowner. Officers pursued the suspect into the home.
Just before he was taken into custody, Laughter wrapped a pair of blue jeans around a two-foot metal candlestick to make officers believe that he had a gun. When the ploy did not stop deputies, he fled into the home’s garage, where he was taken into custody after a brief struggle. In an attempt to avoid arrest, Laughter initially gave officers several false names.
At the time of this incident, Laughter was out on bond for attempted murder in Greenville County.