Columbia County, GA – A Columbia County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson tells us several people have been arrested in an investigation into recent vehicle break-ins and thefts.
The spokesperson, Major Rick Whitaker, says that the Sheriff’s Office has received numerous reports of the break-ins and theft over the past few days.
Maj. Whitaker says that the majority of these incidents took place in the parking lots of daycare and fitness centers, mainly in the Martinez-Evans area.
In many cases, checks were taken in the thefts and “by means of forgery and fraud” were altered and cashed by the suspects for their personal gain, Maj. Whitaker added.
Investigators believe this group of suspects are connected with a larger network operating throughout the CSRA. Thursday morning, following a two-day investigation, 6 suspects connected to these incidents were arrested.
The following suspects have been charged with Violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act.
- Rodney Eugene Stevens – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Melissa Marie Salgato – Miami, Florida
- Michael Andrew Ottey – Lauderdale Lakes, Florida
- Dozdowski Tornell Chance – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Jerome Luther Shaw – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Justina Mary Rivera – Charleston, South Carolina
Maj. Whitaker says this is an ongoing investigation and further details will be released when they become available.