Former Richmond County Commissioner Paul William “Bill” Hiers told police a long Christmas Eve checkout line led him to shoplift from a Columbia County store.
Hiers, 68, was at CVS, 3527 Old Petersburg Road about 1:45 p.m. Dec. 24 when a manager said a woman that he was with handed him some Cover Girl eye shadow, an eye pencil and a bottle of Aleve, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident report. When the woman walked away, the manager said Hiers walked around the store and put the items, worth $34.95 in his pockets. She said Hiers walked over and talked to the woman, then tried to leave with the concealed items.
The manager said she stopped the couple at the door and called authorities.
Hiers and the woman, who were escorted to an upstairs office, told a deputy that he didn’t want to stand in the long line to pay for the items, so we tried to just walk out with them. The woman said she gave Hiers the items that she thought he’d pay for. She said she didn’t know he’d try to steal them.
Video surveillance confirmed the manager’s version of events.
Hiers was charged with shoplifting and was released from the Columbia County Detention Center later that day after posting an $1,100 bond, according to jailers.
Hiers served on the former Richmond County Commission from 1979
to 1982 and was the chairman in 1980.