Police have few clues in mall beating

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The investigation into last week's beating and robbery of a man inside an Augusta Mall Sears bathroom has turned up few leads, and police said Thursday they're reviewing security videotapes.

Lawrence Stephens, a 54-year-old security employee at Plant Vogtle, said he was in the Sears restroom Nov. 23 when someone grabbed him from behind, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report.

Another person began hitting him in the face and body, the report stated.

The assailants stole the man's cash and wallet and fled before he could catch a glimpse of them, and he might have blacked out, according to Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Cheryl Dorsey.

"We don't have any good suspects right now because he didn't see exactly what went on," she said. "We're still reviewing camera equipment from the mall, but that doesn't look promising at all."

Mr. Stephens was taken to Doctors Hospital, where he was treated for several broken bones in his face.

Investigator Dorsey said the store's security camera operators were following a shoplifter at the time the beating occurred. She said that is one reason they have few images from near the store's restrooms.

"That's what caused them to lose sight of the other part of the store because they were basically trying to focus on the guy who was trying to rob them," she said.

Sgt. Robert Cross, who works special duty assignments for the Augusta Mall, responded to the incident. He said the off-duty police hired by the mall stick to the common areas and don't typically patrol the department stores.

A message left for mall manager Linda Hardin was not returned Thursday.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.

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palomino9
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palomino9 12/05/08 - 05:20 am
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sounds like another

sounds like another republican senator caught in the act.

DoubleD
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DoubleD 12/05/08 - 06:52 am
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So are there new leads or is

So are there new leads or is it "not promising at all?"

WAG
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WAG 12/05/08 - 08:16 am
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Was at Penny's the other

Was at Penny's the other nite. Not a light in the parking lot was woking. Told employees in store and they just shrruged their shoulders.... Makes you feel reaf safe!!!!!!!!!!! not

jgdarling
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jgdarling 12/05/08 - 08:31 am
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Shop downtown!!!

Shop downtown!!!

ripjones
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ripjones 12/05/08 - 08:33 am
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palomino9 - That was NOT

palomino9 - That was NOT funny, and you are a sick person to even type this out. Pray like hell it never happens to you. This holiday season, Augusta Mall had better saturate the place with security. If the parent company is already in trouble, several lawsuits could really put them in a bind.

youallkillme
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youallkillme 12/05/08 - 08:37 am
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Could be a connection between

Could be a connection between the shoplifter and the two men? Did the shoplifter get caught?

pofwe
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pofwe 12/05/08 - 09:01 am
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You mean there is only one

You mean there is only one security camera, or only one can be used at the time? Sounds like a weak excuse for security that is not securing. Thugs are going to cause the closure of this mall just as they closed the "Regency Mall." Someone should play as "Beretta" and disguise themselves as an "easy mark," then unload their Glock into the thug(s).

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 12/05/08 - 09:18 am
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Stop looking to be a victim.

Stop looking to be a victim. The mall is no different than shopping at K-Mart, Bi-Lo or going to Church. People get robbed in their own home. Who do you look to sue then. I doubt that there is only one camera. The point is that they cannot see everything. You have got to be aware of your surroundings. I think that security must be pretty good. This is the first time I have every heard of something like this taking place.

Boston93
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Boston93 12/05/08 - 09:25 am
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Agree eith ripjones on

Agree eith ripjones on palomino9 comments. Uncalled for. He may know who done it if he knew it was a Republican. Is Palomino a horses behind ?

soldout
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soldout 12/05/08 - 09:50 am
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pofwe has the right idea.

pofwe has the right idea. Create situations to invite crime and catch the criminals. Trap them like you would trap an animal and then the risk of doing crime at the mall gets too high for them. It works in nature and it will work at the mall.

Dukedirtbag
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Dukedirtbag 12/05/08 - 09:50 am
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lemme see the victim worked

lemme see the victim worked in Vogtle Security? i feel real safe now...

MJDW
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MJDW 12/05/08 - 10:04 am
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Sears needs to close off that

Sears needs to close off that restroom. That ressroom is in the back of the store.

politicallyNcorrect1
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politicallyNcorrect1 12/05/08 - 10:10 am
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Offer a reward & someone will

Offer a reward & someone will bust on them. It's a fact thugs can not keep their mouth shut They love to brag & it's allways their downfall. My favorite homespun statement is:
If criminals had to pass a test to become a criminal?
We would all rest easy because there would not be many on the job...lol

hossiv
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hossiv 12/05/08 - 10:13 am
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Hey Palomino, it was probably

Hey Palomino, it was probably a couple of Obama supporters who committed this crime.

stewartist
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stewartist 12/05/08 - 10:15 am
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Everyone must remind

Everyone must remind themselves that despite the Holiday Season (which is supposed to be full of happiness and love) there are cruel people in this world with no conscience, and they will hurt you or your family to satisfy their selfish needs. Just be aware of your surroundings, and have a safe holiday. Peace.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 12/05/08 - 10:16 am
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MJDW, All department store

MJDW, All department store restrooms are in the back of the store. The location of the restroom is not the problem. Hypocrite I agree, you can get robbed at K-Mart or Bi-Lo but please...I've never heard of someone getting their face smashed or robbed in the bathroom of a Church. I agree that with the addition of the new stores and the increase in patrons to the mall, additional security needs to be added especially on Friday and Saturdays.

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 12/05/08 - 10:28 am
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hossiv your statement is just

hossiv your statement is just as stupid as his was.

disssman
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disssman 12/05/08 - 10:28 am
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All you shoplifters listen

All you shoplifters listen up. The way to do it is go to SEARS, pick up your items and proceed to the restroom area, don't worry there are no cameras there, go inside and stash your items, then leave, don't worry about cameras, they are probably being used for publicity purposes. Give me a break. Any idiot could look at tapes of shoppers during that time and pick out the punks. They are the ones that are together, with no shopping bags, in a hurry and looking all around to see if they are being watched.

mommie2
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mommie2 12/05/08 - 10:29 am
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Augusta Mall is quickly going

Augusta Mall is quickly going the way of the Regency Mall. No one feels safe anymore because of all the riff raff that just go to hang out and cause trouble. Such a shame they spent all that money on renovations.

dale88fan
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dale88fan 12/05/08 - 10:30 am
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i say sue the hell out of

i say sue the hell out of sears and the mall and maybe they will add security to the problem area to offer more protection while shopping. You cant blame this on the thugs with their pants down to their knees because these guys seem to be able to leave in a hurry!

amgibson
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amgibson 12/05/08 - 10:31 am
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People often ask why I put

People often ask why I put myself through boxing, kickboxing, and jui jitsu workouts that leave me battered and bruised for days. From now on I'm going to tell them because of the Sears bathroom incident at Augusta Mall. Punks like those two individuals react much differently when the tables are turned. Let's see how badly they want my money when they're being kneed in the jaw and choked out. But of course, something like that would be caught on tape and then I'd be charged with a hate crime.

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 12/05/08 - 10:45 am
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INCHRISTLOVE MLK's Mother got

INCHRISTLOVE MLK's Mother got killed in Church. My point is that this can happen anywhere. Tell me the last time you read where this type of crime took place in a Department store? If you ask RCSD this is a rare situation and over reaction on anyone part will not help. Again be aware of your surroundings.

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 12/05/08 - 10:46 am
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There are no cameras in any

There are no cameras in any restroom. So why just target Sears?

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 12/05/08 - 10:57 am
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Yes sue, sue, sue. Who do you

Yes sue, sue, sue. Who do you sue when you are walking on River Walk and some thug mugs you? Who do you sue when you walking up your own drive way and get robbed? Naysayers like DALE88 have been calling for the demised of the Augusta Mall for at least the last 15 years. I remember that the late Rev. Timothy Fellows also did the same thing. The Mall is still open and he is no longer alive.

corgimom
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corgimom 12/05/08 - 11:12 am
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The Rev. Timothy Fellows

The Rev. Timothy Fellows thought everybody and everything was going to Hell if you didn't believe the way he did.

1trugent
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1trugent 12/05/08 - 11:35 am
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I use to work at the

I use to work at the mall...and its worse than working a bar. Of course, at the end of the night, you should see all the empty beer and liquor bottles and cans littering the parking lot, so then again, it may be a bar.

joytotheworld
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joytotheworld 12/05/08 - 11:42 am
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My questions is why did it

My questions is why did it take the AC this long to report an incident that happened on November 23 and was on NBC news web page within a couple of days? Why wait 2 weeks to warn people?

aaa
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aaa 12/05/08 - 11:43 am
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Everyone needs to fight back

Everyone needs to fight back with whatever abilities they have. Some of our elderly citizens won't be able to mount much of a defense. Women: If someone tries to grab you, get your fingernails somewhere around their face or neck - get that DNA evidence! Kids: If someone tries to grab you, hold onto whatever you can get your little arms around - a kidnapper can't take the time to pull a kid holding onto a bike into the backseat of a car and still make a quick getaway. Guys, fight back to the best of your abilities - goe for the face. Jab a pen or key into the thug's neck - literally go for the jugular! Everybody: try to memorize something about your thug - a scar, tattoo, clothing, mustache, beard, car type, tag number - even partial info can add up and help catch these idiots. And of course, if you legally carry a gun - use it! When we all start fighting back, it will have an impact!! Don't settle into or accept the role of victim. It doesn't mean you won't be scared or feel guilty for not fighting back better, but at least you wouldn't have just rolled over. This gentleman who was attacked was "suckered punch" - he didn't get the chance to fight back. Wish him speedy recovery!

aaa
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aaa 12/05/08 - 11:48 am
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Joy: It probably had more to

Joy: It probably had more to do with the Mall not wanting the negative press than the AC (??). I try to avoid the mall now at all costs and will only go if there is no other option. I don't like walking around the mall with my kids, and seeing these young guys strutting with their upper buttocks exposed, staring down all the young women even when their fathers are walking beside them! Augusta Mall: Clean up your act. Take drastic measures or you will go the way of Regency!!!! Right now, I can purchase anything I want in the more secure regions of Columbia County (Thanks, Sheriff Whittle and all the deputies!). I will spend my money closer to home.

jamc1103
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jamc1103 12/05/08 - 12:20 pm
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Standing Tall you might want

Standing Tall you might want to think again if you think you are any more safe in CC. They just do a better job of keeping the negative press from getting out. If you look at the police reports (public record on their website), you will see that cars are brroken into and people are robbed in shopping center parking lots all of the time. I live in CC and my home has been robbed and someone I know had a car stolen from their yard last week. Trust me it isn't any better here than in RC.

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