Two die of injuries in county crashes
Two Columbia County residents died last week of injuries suffered in separate car wrecks.
Naomi Bridges James, 80, of Grovetown, died Wednesday at the Medical College of Georgia Hospital of brain injuries she suffered in a Nov. 5 wreck, said Harriett Garrison, a deputy Columbia County coroner.
James, the mother of Grovetown Mayor George James III, was a passenger in a car driven by her hus-band, George James Jr., when the accident occurred just before 7 p.m. on Harlem-Grovetown Road at Haverhill Drive.
Lester Greene, 89, of Wells Drive in Evans, died Nov. 7, a day after he was injured in a wreck on Hereford Farm Road near Blanchard Road, Garrison said.
The following accounts were taken from reports from The Columbia County Sheriff's Office. Additional reports are available at www.columbia countyso.org:
Petco employee arrested in theft
An employee of Petco, an Evans pet-supply store, was arrested Tuesday after managers discovered the theft of more than $600 from cash registers.
Chris Thomas Walker, 20, whose license listed him as a Sandersville, Ga., resident, was charged with felony theft. He was released from the Columbia County Detention Center on Wednesday after posting a $2,600 bond, according to jailers.
The store and loss-prevention managers told police that during a routine video surveillance check they saw Walker enter product numbers from random items in the store into the register as a returned item when no customer or merchandise was present. He then put the cash "refund" in his pocket.
The managers said they witnessed Walker performing 13 fraudulent returns totaling $634.84.
Walker signed a police statement admitting that he completed the transactions knowingly and fraudulently.
Money, gun, drugs stolen from hotel
A Douglasville, Ga., couple told police Tuesday, Nov. 9, that someone stole money, a gun and medication from their motel room.
The 27-year-old man and 28-year-old woman said they checked into the Super 8 Motel on Park West Drive near Interstate 20 on Monday, Nov. 8, evening and left at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday to work at Fort Gordon.
When they returned to the room for lunch about 10:45 a.m., they said, the woman's purse was turned over and a suitcase was moved.
The man said $500, which was hidden in the suitcase, a semiautomatic pistol and eight Vicodin tablets were missing.
Ex-wife suspected in rental car theft
An Appling man told police early Wednesday that his ex-wife likely stole a car he rented for her.
The 38-year-old said he rented a 2010 Nissan Sentra for his ex-wife, who couldn't rent it herself, on Oct. 23 from Avis/Budget Car Rentals at Augusta Regional Airport. The car, which was supposed to be driven only by the man or his ex-wife, was to be returned Oct. 30.
The man said a representative of the rental company called Tuesday claiming the car hadn't been returned. He told the representative that he didn't have the car. He was told to file a police report.
The man said he couldn't reach his ex-wife.
Employee tries safe; purse is stolen
The general manager of Stevie B's pizza restaurant told police Monday that an employee and another man tried to open the store safe.
The manager said a shift manager contacted him Monday evening to tell him that an employee's purse was stolen from the office in the restaurant on Bobby Jones Expressway in Martinez.
Upon reviewing the surveillance video footage, the manager said he saw an employee and another man in the office trying to get into the safe.
The employee's purse went missing about the same time.
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