The following accounts were taken from reports from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. Additional reports are available at www.columbia countyso.org:
Two clerks charged with underage sale of alcohol
Two Martinez store clerks were charged with selling alcohol to a minor last week during an undercover operation by the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
An underage, undercover person went into several establishments on Tuesday, said Capt. Steve Morris. Clerks at 10 of the 12 stores asked for identification and did not sell alcohol.
John Tzolis, an employee at Yanni's Package Shop at 236 Bobby Jones Expressway, and a 16-year-old employee of Bi-Lo at 500 Furys Ferry Road were charged with violating a county ordinance against selling alcohol to someone without proper identification.
Morris said the sheriff's office conducts these random operations several times each year. Typically, Columbia County Code Enforcement will follow up by also citing the business owner, and both face fines in county Magistrate Court, said Linda Glasscock, Code Enforcement manager.
Businesses receiving three violations within three years are usually taken before the Columbia County Commission for potential alcohol license revocation, Morris said.
Businesses that operated properly during the sting were Circle K locations at 3934 Washington Road, Martinez; 190 Baston Road, Martinez; and 1045 Furys Ferry Road, Evans. Food Lion, 4098 Old Petersburg Road, Martinez; Liquor and More, 3821 Washington Road, Martinez; Sprint, 3701 Washington Road, Martinez; Woody's Spirits, 5121 Washington Road, Evans; Yeong's Pantry, 2205 S. Belair Road, Martinez; Golden Package Shop, 218 S. Belair Road, Martinez; and Publix, 5119 Washington Road, Evans.
Charges made on debit card from stolen wallet
A Martinez woman told police Wednesday that someone stole her wallet and spent more than $500 at four Columbia County stores in about an hour.
The 46-year-old said her husband's debit card was denied at an Augusta restaurant, where the couple ate Wednesday evening. The woman then realized her wallet was missing and called her bank. The woman said she learned that her debit card was used four times in the county within an hour starting at 10:30 a.m.
The woman said she last saw the card Tuesday before bed. When she arrived at work at 6:15 a.m. Wednesday, the woman said she put her purse inside her unlocked desk at an Evans surgery center.
Someone spent $197.30 at Bi-Lo; $1 at a Shell gas station; $175.30 at Food Lion; and $163.27 at Kroger. The woman canceled the card.
Burglars break hole in wall at Evans convenience store
The owner of an Evans convenience store called police early Monday after discovering burglars broke a hole in the wall of the business.
The owner of Allen's Country Store, 4277 Washington Road, said he went to the store at about 1:15 a.m. because the alarm was going off. Someone had knocked a large hole in a back wall, which leads to the store office.
The store alarm control panel was damaged during the break-in. Someone tried unsuccessfully to pry open a desk cabinet. The owner was initially unsure if anything was stolen.
Magnetic dealer tag stolen from vehicle in Martinez
An Augusta man said three men stole the dealer tag from his Jeep while he shopped in a Martinez drug store.
The 54-year-old said that just before 10 p.m. Monday he came out of the Walgreens at 672 Furys Ferry Road to find three men and their vehicles around his Jeep. A white Cadillac Escalade with a dealer tag and a black Dodge extended cab truck were parked beside his Jeep and a black passenger car, possibly a Nissan Altima, was parked behind it.
When he asked what they were doing, the men jumped into the vehicles and drove away.
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