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Six charged with racketeering

Connected to rash of car break-ins and thefts

Posted: August 14, 2015 - 12:48pm  |  Updated: August 18, 2015 - 11:22pm
From upper left, Rodney Eugene Stevens; Melissa Marie Salgato; Michael Andrew Ottey; Dorzdowski T.Chance; Justina Mary Rivera; Jerome Luther Shaw  Special
Special
From upper left, Rodney Eugene Stevens; Melissa Marie Salgato; Michael Andrew Ottey; Dorzdowski T.Chance; Justina Mary Rivera; Jerome Luther Shaw

Six people were arrested Thursday in connection with a series of car break-ins and thefts from vehicles at schools and day care centers in the Martinez-Evans area.

Since Monday, Aug. 10, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office received several reports of thefts from vehicles in the parking lots of schools, day care centers and fitness centers.

In many of the cases checks were stolen, forged and fraudulently cashed by the suspects, according to sheriff’s Maj. Rick Whitaker.

Authorities arrested: Rodney Eugene Stevens, 23, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Melissa Marie Salgato, 28, of Miami; Michael Andrew Ottey, 32, of Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.; Dorzdowski Tornell Chance, 33, of Fort Lauderdale; Justina Mary Rivera, 28, of Charleston, S.C.; and Jerome Luther Shaw, 30, of Fort Lauderdale.

A two-day investigation led to them being charged with violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act. Investigators believe those arrested are connected to a larger network operating in the area, according to Whitaker.

They are being held in the Columbia County Detention Center without bond, according to jail records.

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