The following accounts were taken from reports filed with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
An Augusta man was nearly run over trying to stop a pair of shoplifters at Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse on Bobby Jones Expressway last week.
Vicki Blanchard, a cashier at the store, told police that two men were pushing a cart loaded with power tools and pansies toward the garden-center exit of the store when she stopped them and asked for a receipt. She said the men then grabbed the tools, fled toward the parking lot and jumped into a waiting van, according to a Columbia County Sheriff's Office report.
A witness, James Mitchell Vause Jr., said he heard Blanchard yell and approached the men's van. He said that as the van backed up, the driver looked at him and started toward him as if to run him over, the report stated.
Vause avoided the van and told authorities he watched the men drive away.
A local credit union was recently swindled for $750.
Shirley Riddle Wilmoth, a deposit control specialist with SRP Federal Credit Union in Martinez, told police that a credit union member deposited a check for $750 on Aug. 27 and immediately began making withdrawals.
Wilmoth reported Dec. 19 that the SouthTrust Bank check had been returned and stamped "account closed," according to a Columbia County Sheriff's Office report.
The credit union had surveillance videotape from Aug. 27 that representatives said they would share with the sheriff's office, the report stated.
Paper racks stolen, damaged
Several newspaper racks were stolen or damaged in the area last week.
Deborah Barnes Sullins, a carrier with The Augusta Chronicle, said three newspaper racks were damaged Dec. 18 and two others were stolen on Dec. 20, according to a Columbia County Sheriff's Office report.
Two of the damaged racks were at the McDonald's at 3804 Washington Road in Martinez and a Waffle House at 4291 Washington Road in Evans. Another rack outside an Evans McDonald's at 4264 Washington Road was damaged, and the money was stolen from it, the report stated.
Newspaper racks at the Hardee's at 4360 Washington Road and at the Dollar General at 4388 Washington Road, both in Evans, were stolen.
Martinez Fire Department activity report for the week of Dec. 14-20:
Structure fires, four; grass fires, three; controlled burn, one; fire alarms, six; carbon monoxide, one; medical calls, 28; rescue calls, nine; investigations, two; public service, four and other, one.
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