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Police blotter

Posted: November 23, 2016 - 1:09am

These accounts were taken from Columbia County Sheriff's Office reports:

 

Man booked for shoplifting
A man accused of theft from two Evans businesses reportedly committed a previous theft in one of the stores the day before.

Police received three calls Thursday about suspicious activities of a man later identified as John Lee Farris Jr., 44.

A Wal-Mart employee in Evans called police after recognizing the man later identified as Farris, who had been seen the day before taking bags from an unoccupied register and concealing more than $1,500 worth of video games. Farris then left the store without paying. The employee told police that he requested Farris to return to the store the day before, but Farris refused and the merchandise was not recovered.

Again Thursday, Farris took bags from an unoccupied register and concealed an assortment of DVDs totaling more than $900 before leaving without paying. Farris was seen putting the bag of DVDs into a white Chevrolet Cobalt and then returning to the store, where he was then observed taking a shopping cart full of merchandise out of the store and putting it into the same car.

Police stopped Farris as he tried to re-enter the store for a third time.

Farris was identified by the Wal-Mart employee as the man committing the theft attempt. Police said they could see the stolen merchandise in Farris' vehicle in the parking lot.

Four Playstation game controllers were found in the packaging in the front floorboard of the car.

The theft matched a call from nearby GameStop, about a man, whom an employee later confirmed was Farris, was in the store using a lighter near the controllers. The employee told police she asked the man to leave. Police also observed fresh soot marks on the racks where Farris had used the lighter to melt the security devices away. The employee said the controllers were missing from the store.

Farris was arrested and booked into the Columbia County Detention Center on two counts of misdemeanor theft by shoplifting charges and two felony counts of theft by shoplifting charges.

 

Tuscaloosa fraud scam hits Evans
An Evans woman became the victim of a money scam that police later connected to a larger operation in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The woman told police a man identifying himself as Sgt. Tony Davis of the "Georgia Sex Crimes Division" contacted her and stated that if she paid a $750 deposit, her daughter, who is in the McDuffie County jail, would receive an ankle monitoring bracelet and would be allowed to return home.

Davis told the woman to call a certain number to speak with Capt. Wells, who would walk her through the process.

She did so, and the man on the other end told her to perform a Walmart2Walmart money transfer to the attention of Donna Billingsley.

After wiring the money, the woman then contacted the McDuffie County jail to inquire into further actions she needed to take. Jail personnel informed her that the program she was talking about didn't exist and that she had been the victim of a scam.

In addition, her bank stated the transaction could not be stopped and she was instructed to file a police report.

It was discovered the money had been picked up in Tuscaloosa. Police contacted a manager at the Tuscaloosa Wal-Mart, who stated she was familiar with the case.

The manager read off a list of names from suspicious transactions when "Billingsley" came up.

The manager said the Tuscaloosa Police Department was also investigating the same type of suspicious transactions. The manager was asked to contact the sheriff's office in case it received any other transactions from Columbia County.

 

Caretaker stabbed by care home resident
A resident of an Evans personal care home stabbed a caretaker with a pencil.

The caretaker told police she asked the resident to stop calling other residents bad names during breakfast.

The caretaker said the resident hit her with a book. As the caretaker was standing up after picking the book off the ground, the resident struck her five or six times with the pencil, starting from her right arm and across her chest.

The caretaker sustained one small puncture and a scratch to her right arm. The caretaker did not wish to prosecute, and the resident was taken to Trinity Hospital for a mental evaluation.

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