Across the area


Authorities in Aiken hunt burglary suspect

Authorities are searching for a man wanted in several burglaries in Aiken County.

Julian Q. Gavin, 34, of the 5400 block of Charleston Highway in Williston, is wanted on three counts of grand larceny, Aiken County sheriff's Sgt. Dave Myers said in a news release.

Anyone with information can contact the Aiken County Sheriff's Office at (803) 922-9709 or Crime Stoppers of the Midlands at (888) CRIME-SC. Callers will remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward of $50 to $1,000.

Two commissioners will seek re-election

Two Columbia County commissioners announced Tuesday that they will seek re-election.

Commission Chairman Ron Cross and Commissioner Scott Dean shared the spotlight during the announcement at the Evans Government Center. They said they wanted to announce their re-election bids now to quell rumors that they were not going to seek another term.

No one has officially come forward to oppose Mr. Dean . Retired businessman Brett McGuire, of Appling, announced his intention to run against Mr. Cross last week, filing a declaration with the county Board of Elections.

Primaries will be held in July.

Woman robbed by man who asked for ride

A man robbed a woman at gunpoint Tuesday after she offered him a ride from the Walmart on Deans Bridge Road.

According to a Richmond County sheriff's report, the woman was walking to her van about 12:15 p.m. when a man asked for a ride. When she reached the corner of Deans Bridge Road and Georgetown Drive, the man pulled out a pistol and demanded to go to Kipling Drive, where he took $560 from her. He was last seen running north on Weldon Drive.

The robber was described as black, between 20 and 25, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing about 180 pounds, with a thin beard. He was wearing a black jacket and a green skull cap.

2 arrested for making meth in mobile home

Authorities have captured two people they believe ran a meth lab in an Aiken County home.

On Monday night, Aiken County sheriff's deputies found David Blanken, 45, and Mary Catherine Washington-Blanken, 39, both of Bay Street in Bath, at Foxfire Motel in the 4600 block of Jefferson Davis Highway in Beech Island, Aiken County sheriff's Sgt. Dave Myers said. They were charged with trafficking methamphetamine and manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine in the first degree, Sgt. Myers said.

Investigators say they believe the pair had been on the run since narcotics investigators discovered items used to make meth in a mobile home on Bay Street on Oct. 28.

Man is arrested after damaging motel room

Richmond County sheriff's deputies arrested an Augusta man they said ransacked his room at a motel Monday night.

Michael Wayne Bader, 58, was charged with second degree criminal damage to property and obstruction of an officer, according to jail records.

A sheriff's report said the deputies followed a blood trail from a broken hallway window to Mr. Bader's room. He had broken the microwave, lamp, dresser and air conditioner in the room, the report said. He fought with deputies who tried to restrain him. Damages were estimated at about $650.

Men tie up resident, drive off in his vehicle

Home invaders robbed an Augusta resident Monday and left him tied up in his bathtub, according to Lt. Scott Peebles of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's deputies were called to the 500 block of Fairhope Street, where they found the 68-year-old homeowner.

After tying the resident up, two intruders robbed him at knife-point and left in his Ford Explorer. A neighbor heard him screaming for help.

Officers found Ahijah Murray, 19, and two other men walking near the victim's vehicle behind a vacant apartment on Mack Court. Mr. Murray was arrested and was being held without bond. He is charged with armed robbery, kidnapping, burglary and theft by taking a motor vehicle. The other two men were released but not ruled out as suspects.

3 men attack woman, steal her $200 purse

A 55-year-old Augusta woman told police she was struck on the head and robbed by three men Monday evening in the 2300 block of Overlook Road.

A Richmond County sheriff's report says the men stole the woman's purse, which was valued at about $200. The three robbers were black and wearing baggy jeans. One had a red T-shirt and a head rag. Another had a white T-shirt and dreadlocks.