The following accounts were taken from reports filed with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
The assistant manager of the Martinez Wal-Mart recently reported that someone set a fire in a store restroom.
Steven Ebenroth told police that he was called to the men's restroom just after 3:30 a.m. Saturday, according to a Columbia County Sheriff's Office report.
John Dickerson, the employee who called Ebenroth, entered the restroom and found a trash can near the door fully engulfed in flames and called for help, the report stated. Support Manager Jose Fuentes heard Dickerson's calls and used a fire extinguisher to put the fire out. The sprinkler system came on.
Martinez Fire Department responded, and Battalion Chief Gary Thigpen said he could not determine the cause of the fire, the report stated. An investigator responded to the scene and took the store's surveillance video tapes as evidence.
A Kroger employee told police Saturday that he was tricked into loading an unpaid grill into a customer's car.
Chris William Parham, a clerk at the Kroger at 4115 Columbia Road, Martinez, told police that he was outside when a man asked if he would help load a grill into his vehicle, according to a Columbia County Sheriff's Office report.
The customer went inside the store, bought a few items and returned outside where Parham loaded a $50 charcoal grill into the man's white Mercedes, the report stated. When Parham went back inside the store, he discovered the man never paid for the grill.
The Mercedes could not be located by police at the time of the incident.
An Augusta man was arrested after police say he was caught burglarizing a Grovetown home.
Shontonia Monique Harold, of the 200 block of Sassafrass Lane, told police that when she came home Friday evening, a man was in her kitchen. The man ran out the back door and ran to the street behind Harold's home, according to a Columbia County Sheriff's Office report. Harold said she got into her car and drove to the street, where she saw the man jump a privacy fence into a wooded area.
Police canine units were called in to track the burglar. An investigation revealed that the man got into Harold's home through a broken kitchen window. Harold found that the man had stolen three cans of pink lemonade, a stainless steel ladies' watch, a house key and 60 pills used to treat yeast infections, the report stated.
Raul Rodrigues, 25, of the 2200 block of Rosier Road in Augusta, was taken into custody in a ditch on the westbound side of Interstate 20, the report stated. Harold identified Rodrigues as the man inside her home, the report stated.
A crime scene investigator collected blood from Harold's home and took a swab from Rodrigues' mouth for a DNA match. Rodrigues was transported to the Columbia County Detention Center, where he was charged with burglary and giving a false name. As of Monday, Rodrigues was still being held on a combined $11,100 bond, jail personnel said.
An employee of a local convenience store recently told police that a man called the business March 7, claiming to be the owner of a nearby business and asking to borrow money.
Mary Burkey, a clerk at the Allen's Country Store in Evans, told police on Thursday that nearly two months earlier a man called the store.
The man claimed to be the owner of Street and Trail Motorsports, which is two doors down, and said he was out of town and his wife had been in an accident, according to a Columbia County Sheriff's Office report.
The caller asked to borrow $50 for the wrecker bill and have someone pick up the money and take it to his wife, the report stated. Burkey said that she agreed, and a man arrived to retrieve the money.
Later, Burkey discovered that the caller was not the business owner he claimed to be. She told police she would prosecute if the caller was identified.
Martinez Fire Department activity report for the week of April 18-24:
Structure fires, four; woods fires, four; grass fires, three; vehicle fires, two; controlled burns, seven; natural gas leaks, two; fire alarms, 12; medical calls, 23; rescue calls, 10; investigations, two; and public service assistance, two.
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