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Deputies searching for shoplifters

Posted: January 28, 2014 - 12:21pm  |  Updated: January 28, 2014 - 1:34pm
Columbia County authorities are trying to identify the man pictured who is accused of working with a woman t6o steal cigarettes from a Martinez drug store on Jan. 19.   Columbia County Sheriff's Office
Columbia County Sheriff's Office
Columbia County authorities are trying to identify the man pictured who is accused of working with a woman t6o steal cigarettes from a Martinez drug store on Jan. 19.

 

Columbia County authorities are trying to identify two people they say collaborated to steal cigarettes from a Martinez drug store.

An employee of the CVS Pharmacy on Old Petersburg Road at Baston Road said that on Jan. 19, a man and a woman came into the store at about 9:30 p.m. The employee said she was returning to the front of the store from the restroom when she saw the man standing near the counter next to the shopping carts, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident report. She said the half-door leading behind the counter was swinging as if someone had just passed through it.

When asked what he was doing, the man told the employee he was waiting for his wife, then walked out of the store. The employee said she believed the man was lying, so she reviewed store security video footage, which revealed the man had walked behind the counter and stuffed at least two cartons of cigarettes under his sweatshirt, according to the report. The man and woman left the store in a black sport utility vehicle.

Another employee said the woman came into the store and asked for help locating some medication, according to the report. He led the woman to the medication, leaving no employees at the front of the store. He walked the woman back to the front of the store, where she said she had the wrong card and left, according to the report. He also said the woman and man left in a small black SUV.

The deputy reviewed the surveillance video, which showed the man walk behind the counter and shove the cartons of cigarettes into his sweatshirt. The deputy believes the pair were collaborating, the woman distracting the clerk while the man went behind the counter, according to the report.

Anyone with information about the identities or whereabouts of the man and woman should call the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office at (706) 541-2800.

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