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Colleton County deputies searching for man who broke into church then escaped arrest

Vernon Brandon Johnson (Colleton County Sheriff's Office)

A man is on the run in Colleton County after escaping law enforcement custody Wednesday shortly after being arrested for breaking into a church.

The Colleton County Sheriff's Office is asking the public to be on the lookout for Vernon Brandon Johnson, 22. The sheriff's office says Johnson is a white male, about 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10, weighing approximately 160 pounds. Authorities say he has a thin build, with blond or light brown hair and a goatee.

CCSO officials say Johnson was last seen wearing a black hoodie and blue jeans after escaping deputies' custody Wednesday. Johnson had been arrested for breaking into Shiloh Baptist Church on Lowcountry Highway in the Sniders Crossroads community outside Ruffin, the sheriff's office says.

Colleton County deputies and a K9 Unit responded to set up a perimeter and to track Johnson, but were unable to locate him, according to CCSO spokesman Lt. Tyger Benton.

Anyone who sees Johnson or has information as to his whereabouts is asked to contact the Colleton County Sheriff's Office at 843-549-2211 or Crime Stoppers at 843-554-1111.

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