The following accounts were taken from Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident reports:
Stalker watches woman at work
A woman called authorities Wednesday claiming a man has been stalking her at work.
The 55-year-old woman said a stranger has been watching her at her Martinez workplace for more than a month. The employee of a business in the shopping center on Old Petersburg Road near Old Evans Road said that on several occasions, the man approached the front windows of the business and stared at her through the glass while walking his dog on a patch of grass in front of the business.
The woman said on Feb. 10, the man stared at her from the grass. As she turned off the lights and unlocked her car with a key fob, the stranger started walking quickly toward the office. She locked the door, but said the man started pulling on the door trying to get inside. He left headed toward Shenandoah Ridge Apartments nearby.
On Feb. 26, the woman said she was being escorted to her car by a deputy as the man stood in front of the businesses and stared at her. The deputy spoke to the man, but the woman said she doesn’t know what was said.
On Wednesday, the woman said she was preparing to leave when she saw the stranger standing in the patch of grass with his dog at about 7:45 p.m. He was again staring at her. The woman called 911. While on the phone with a dispatcher, the woman said the stranger approached the front door of the business and stared at her through the glass. When he saw the woman was on the phone, she said the stranger picked up his dog and quickly headed back toward the apartments.
The woman said she doesn’t know the man, but he’s always seen hanging around outside between 8 and 8:30 p.m., about the time she leaves. He’s never spoken to the woman and always retreats toward the apartment complex. The deputy noted the woman was visibly shaken by the incident and said she fears for her safety.
Woman scammed by Internet business opportunity
An Evans woman told deputies Monday that she’d been scammed out of more than $60,000 by an Internet business opportunity.
The 76-year-old woman said she wanted an Internet job for extra income and found Private Corporate Services which promised to set up the woman’s eBay company. On July 27, the woman said she was told by a company representative to send $21,300 for initial set-up fees and education classes she was required to take. She used her credit card to pay the amount on the company Web site to Merchant Advantage Education and started the required courses. The woman said the company then asked for more money for advanced training that she didn’t understand, but she sent the money.
Since the initial transaction in July, the woman said she’s received numerous businesses soliciting contracts for businesses coaching at very expensive prices. The woman said she sent a total of $63,000 to Private Corporate Services and its related companies, but the business never materialized and she never saw a profit.
On Dec. 8, the woman said she sent a letter to the company to request a refund of all of her money, but hasn’t gotten a reply. When one of the companies requested her tax information, the woman said she sent it so they can file taxes for the business on her behalf.
On March 23, the woman’s son found out about the massive amount of money sent from his mother’s credit cards to these companies and called authorities. She gave her son full power of attorney over her finances to take care of the issues. He immediately closed out all bank accounts and credit cards and notified the credit bureau. He tried to notify the Internal revenue Service, but was told he needed to file a police report before they could open a claim.
The man said Advanced Media Concepts was in the process of soliciting his mother for $135,000 for land development in Utah. The company never received the money because the woman’s son stopped the process, but they continue to call requesting money.
Stalker watches teacher
A Columbia Middle School teacher told deputies Monday that someone is following her.
The 32-year-old teacher said she’s received several e-mails from someone who has been watching her. The teacher said she got an e-mail on March 20 from someone she doesn’t know who called the teacher by name and said she was beautiful. The teacher said she was not worried and deleted the e-mail. That evening, the teacher said she received a second e-mail that described her beauty in more detail and the author liked the way she walked.
The teacher, who received the e-mails through her Columbia County Board of Education e-mail system, said she reported the messages to the principal and the school public safety officer and the technology support staff looked into the incidents. The e-mails were sent from a gmail account.
The teacher said she received another message on Friday. The author described the teacher walking across the football field. She said the messages were scary because she’d been on the football field for track after school that day and knows someone was watching her.