The following accounts were taken from reports from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office:
Scammer busted by daughter of ‘victim’
A Martinez woman alerted authorities Thursday after a caller claimed to have kidnapped her father.
The 20-year-old woman said a man with a Hispanic accent called just after 9:30 a.m. and said one of her family members got into a wreck at a gas station. The caller asked who in her family drives and the woman provided her father’s name and vehicle. When the woman asked, the caller confirmed that he was a police officer.
The caller gave the woman instructions to help her father, who the caller claimed was kidnapped by his older brother, a drug dealer, who also was involved in the wreck. The caller said his brother doesn’t want the authorities involved and told the woman his brother was holding her father hostage and would kill him if she didn’t do as instructed. The caller demanded the woman send $700 by Western Union.
The woman hung up and called her father at work and confirmed he had not been in an accident. The call came from Puerto Rico.
Woman home when burglar strikes
A woman said that she was home when someone walked into and stole something from her Martinez home Thursday morning.
The 62-year-old said someone knocked on the front door of her Matson Court home multiple times just before 11 a.m. The woman yelled that she was upstairs and was putting on clothes. The knocking stopped.
The woman said she looked out the window overlooking the garage and saw a faded red passenger car, possibly a Toyota or Honda, backed into the driveway near the garage.
A man in a white hard hat walked to the backyard and climbed the fence. The woman said she heard her back porch door close as she walked downstairs.
An iPhone 4 and an iPad were missing from a table near the back door, which was not locked. The man left.
Man found on Martinez land after notice
An Evans man was arrested Saturday after he was found trespassing on a Martinez woman’s property. Kenneth Charles Erkens, 53, of Jennings Road, was charged with criminal trespass. He was being held in the Columbia County Detention Center Monday on a $1,600 bond, according to jail records.
The woman said she owns 20 acres of land, on Furys Ferry Road at Riverwatch Parkway, that has been frequented for several years by vagrants who camp in the wooded area and cause damage to the property. She’s posted numerous No Trespassing signs and deputies have arrested several people there in the past few years. On Saturday, a deputy found Erkens on the property. He’s been arrested for being on the land and knows she doesn’t want him there.
Neighbor took bait from traps left for cats
An Evans woman told deputies Thursday that her neighbor unbaited her cat traps.
The 37-year-old said when she came home the previous afternoon, she found the bait missing from cat traps in her backyard. She also found the handle to her back gate damaged.
The woman said she’s had problems with her neighbor who doesn’t like her trapping feral cats and turning them over to Columbia County Animal Services. The woman said the neighbor told her there would be consequences for trapping cats. The woman said deputies and Animal Services employees have spoken to her neighbor about the cats.
Columbia County Fire Rescue weekly fire report, March 17-23:
Medical calls, 24; damage from inclement weather, 13; activated fire alarms, nine; investigations, six; vehicle wrecks, five; controlled/unauthorized burns, four; wood/brush/grass fires, four; structure fires, three; mutual aid/public safety assistance, three; CPR in progress, one; electrical incidents, one; assist citizens, one; and vehicle fire, one.