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Police blotter

Posted: Sunday, December 02, 2007

Motorcycle crash kills firefighter


A Richmond County firefighter died Thursday in a two-vehicle wreck on Ray Owens Road near Appling.

George Curtis Jr., 54, of Grovetown was pronounced dead at the scene, Columbia County Deputy Coroner Bonnie King said.

The wreck occurred at about 4:45 p.m. as Curtis was traveling south on Ray Owens Road on a 2005 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said. Curtis' motorcycle wrecked when it drifted to the center line and made contact with truck while its driver, Derick Henry, 26, attempted to pass.

Capt. Morris said Curtis was found at fault in the wreck and no charges will be filed.

Bank heist suspect is jailed in Aiken

A man wanted by Columbia County authorities in a Martinez bank robbery was arrested in Aiken on Tuesday afternoon, Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said.

Shawn Widdon, 34, of West Palm Beach, Fla., was arrested about 6:30 p.m. at an Aiken motel and taken to Aiken County's jail on an armed robbery charge, Morris said.

Widdon is accused in Monday's holdup of the Regions Bank at 360 Furys Ferry Road. Morris said some of the cash taken in the robbery has been recovered.

He said Columbia County authorities are awaiting Widdon's extradition to Georgia.

The following accounts were taken from reports filed with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office:

Truckload of Deere tractors is stolen

A distribution center manager for the John Deere plant in Grovetown told police Wednesday that someone left the plant with four tractors after passing himself off as a delivery driver for a trucking company.

The manager told deputies that a man, who signed in as "Juan Govan," backed a tractor-trailer up to the John Deere 5000 plant at 1 John Deere Parkway on Nov. 21 and stated he was there to pick up a load of tractors for GMT Trucking.

The man told the manager that he was picking up the load for C.H. Robinson and had the correct load number and knew the delivery stops. The man's trailer was loaded with four tractors, worth a total of $60,000.

After several days, when the manager said the plant had not received delivery confirmation, the company called GMT Trucking, where a representative said the driver was not their employee. Surveillance camera footage of the truck and the driver were turned over to the sheriff's office.

Talk-show host's credit card stolen

A radio talk-show host called police Wednesday to report someone had fraudulently used his credit card.

Austin Rhodes, a talk-show host for WGAC-AM (580), told police that on Nov. 19 or 20, someone used his Visa to make unauthorized purchases from an auction Web site.

Rhodes, 42, of Martinez, told police he contacted the bank and the Web site to report the fraudulent buys.

Jewelry, liquor are taken in burglary

A Grovetown woman called police Monday after she returned home and found that someone had broken in and stolen jewelry and liquor.

The 39-year-old woman said she got home about 7:30 p.m. Monday and found an envelope torn open, its contents scattered and her bedroom light on.

Police discovered that the back door had been forced open. The resident said two gold and sapphire rings, two gold necklaces, $40 and coins were missing. In addition, a bottle of Southern Comfort was missing from the refrigerator.


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