Businessman Jay Weinberger dead after police chase

Saturday, Sept. 5, 2009 2:31 PM
Last updated 10:33 PM
  • Follow Latest News

Augusta businessman Jay Weinberger died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a police chase early this morning, the Putnam County sheriff said.

Back | Next
Jay Weinberger  Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jay Weinberger

Sheriff Howard Sills, who described the incident as “bizarre,” said Mr. Weinberger, 47, was towing a trailer with an expired tag when a deputy began pursuing him between 4 and 4:30 a.m. on Harmony Road in north Putnam County. He said the deputy turned on his blue lights but that Mr. Weinberger drove on for about three miles before stopping. When the deputy approached, the sheriff said, Mr. Weinberger took off at a high rate of speed. After a short distance, the vehicle left the road. The deputy found Mr. Weinberger dead of a single gunshot wound.

The sheriff said the trailer, which he described as a concession trailer, was stolen.

Sheriff Sills said a lock to the trailer and a bolt cutter were found in Mr. Weinberger’s vehicle. The trailer had been parked behind the Floor Source in Eatonton, Ga., Sheriff Sills said, and was titled to the owner of that business.

“The owner said he did not know Mr. Weinberger, and he did not give anyone the consent to move the trailer,” which he said was worth more than $7,000.

“We have recovered at least one more stolen trailer at his warehouse in Augusta,” Sheriff Sills said.

The Weinberger family owns Weinberger Furniture and Mattress Showcase, with stores on Washington Road and in Greensboro, Ga.

Richmond County sheriff’s deputies impounded two trailers in the parking lot of the Weinberger Furniture warehouse on Reynolds Industrial Drive this afternoon. Sheriff Sills confirmed that one of those trailers was stolen from a Putnam County business in July.

“Those types of trailers are the highest theft items in the state of Georgia,” he said. “I know it seems strange, but this kind of theft is as common as the rain.”

Richmond County sheriff’s Lt. Scott Peebles said today that the sheriff’s office assisted with the investigation, but he said he could not comment on the details of the case.

“We’re referring everything to Putnam County,” he said.

Mr. Weinberger was active in the Augusta Jewish Community Center, which is on Weinberger Way in Columbia County.

“He was a wonderful person,” said Leah Ronen, executive director of the community center and the Augusta Jewish Federation. “He was very kind.”

Ms. Ronen said Mr. Weinberger raised money to help Jews in the area, in Israel and worldwide.

“He was a strong supporter of the center and the Augusta Jewish Federation,” she said.

Don Bailey, president of The Augusta Chronicle and former chairman of the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, also praised Mr. Weinberger.

"Jay was very well respected in the business community. He'll be missed," he said.

Columbia County Bureau reporter Jenna Martin contributed to this story.

[BEGINBOX]

Related

[ENDBOX]

Comments (143) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
charliemanson
1
Points
charliemanson 09/05/09 - 02:39 pm
0
0
Condolences to the family.

Condolences to the family. This economy is making people do some strange things

ripjones
2
Points
ripjones 09/05/09 - 02:42 pm
0
0
My thoughts and prayers are

My thoughts and prayers are with the entire family.

carrera gt
0
Points
carrera gt 09/05/09 - 03:01 pm
0
0
wth?

wth?

chatter90210
0
Points
chatter90210 09/05/09 - 03:18 pm
0
0
This stinks to high

This stinks to high heaven....... Stay tuned folks I bet this is gonna be a good one!

tncc0770
0
Points
tncc0770 09/05/09 - 03:26 pm
0
0
So sad. I am an aquaintance

So sad. I am an aquaintance of this family and they have always been very kind and generous. Shame on you chatter90210 for your comment. You shouldn't get your thrills from other peoples' misery.

jack
12
Points
jack 09/05/09 - 03:27 pm
0
0
My prayers and condolences

My prayers and condolences are with the Weinberge family, especiall y his wife and children. He was once my neighbor (before he got married) and I would have never guessed such an ending.

im just sayin
0
Points
im just sayin 09/05/09 - 03:30 pm
0
0
Is Jay the tall one or the

Is Jay the tall one or the short one? Sad story.

Debster
1
Points
Debster 09/05/09 - 03:38 pm
0
0
Jay is the shorter of the two

Jay is the shorter of the two brothers ... he has dark hair; Mark has sandy-brown hair.

1moreTime
1
Points
1moreTime 09/05/09 - 03:42 pm
0
0
Wow, now this is heavy!

Wow, now this is heavy!

1moreTime
1
Points
1moreTime 09/05/09 - 03:42 pm
0
0
No, Jay is the tall one.

No, Jay is the tall one.

Erayzer
4
Points
Erayzer 09/05/09 - 03:44 pm
0
0
Boy..there's more to this

Boy..there's more to this story! Sorry for the lost....what was he thinking about. Another case of all the money and status meaning more than life and FAMILY!!!!

coolette
10
Points
coolette 09/05/09 - 03:45 pm
0
0
I don't think he ran because

I don't think he ran because the trailer was stolen. That just would not make sense for that family.

Debster
1
Points
Debster 09/05/09 - 03:51 pm
0
0
Check the business website

Check the business website ... Jay is the shorter of the two according to it.

struggling parent
1
Points
struggling parent 09/05/09 - 03:52 pm
0
0
Jay is the tall one... he

Jay is the tall one... he used to live near us over 10 years ago.. oh my

Debster
1
Points
Debster 09/05/09 - 03:54 pm
0
0
I stand corrected and

I stand corrected and apologize. Jay is the taller of the two. I did some more searching and found his Facebook page with his photo.

fred1217
4
Points
fred1217 09/05/09 - 03:54 pm
0
0
My condolences to the

My condolences to the Weinberger Family. They ran a good business and was customer focused. May God bless and have mercy.

coolette
10
Points
coolette 09/05/09 - 03:59 pm
0
0
Very sad, he has several

Very sad, he has several teen-age kids! Prayers for the family.

tncc0770
0
Points
tncc0770 09/05/09 - 04:05 pm
0
0
Yes, fred1217, he and his

Yes, fred1217, he and his wife were good people and they always tried to do right by their customers. And yes, they do have teenage kids, both really sweet and this will be very hard for them. Those of you who are making a joke out of this, you really should think twice.... put yourself in the situation of losing a loved one..... still funny?

1moreTime
1
Points
1moreTime 09/05/09 - 04:08 pm
0
0
Our thoughts and prayers are

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Weinberger Family.

marie21
5
Points
marie21 09/05/09 - 04:13 pm
0
0
Some of you people on here

Some of you people on here are SICK! A man has died, a family has lost a loved one. Details will come out later. Have some compassion for the family.

conserve1
0
Points
conserve1 09/05/09 - 04:23 pm
0
0
As a longtime friend of this

As a longtime friend of this family, my heart truly breaks for them. Regardless of circumstances, a loss is a loss. Try to remember that as this very private loss is played out publicly. There are children to think about who are grieving the loss of their father among other family members. I feel sorry for those who post in here to get a laugh at others expense.

tncc0770
0
Points
tncc0770 09/05/09 - 04:27 pm
0
0
Well, I don't feel sorry for

Well, I don't feel sorry for those who get a laugh at something as sad as this. I think they should feel sorry for themselves because this is what it takes for them to entertain themselves.

marie21
5
Points
marie21 09/05/09 - 04:29 pm
0
0
I will not lighen up BR549JR.

I will not lighen up BR549JR. I didn't know Jay at all. But he had a family. That is who I am thinking of here. Do you not have a heart at all. Whatever he did or didn't do will come out in time. But be kind to his family. I truly hope nothing bad ever happens to you or your family.

Dixieman
23130
Points
Dixieman 09/05/09 - 04:31 pm
0
0
[filtered word]?? Condolences to

[filtered word]?? Condolences to family...

methree
0
Points
methree 09/05/09 - 04:34 pm
0
0
some of you are really

some of you are really uncaring! hope you never have a loved one die.

Debster
1
Points
Debster 09/05/09 - 04:44 pm
0
0
No disrespect to the family

No disrespect to the family because it truly is a tragic loss for them and the community, BUT both of the Weinberger families were living in half-million dollar homes in a lavish neighborhood off of Stevens Creek Road. I think there will be more to this story as it begins to unfold. Nevertheless, it is a tragedy and I do send my condolences to the family.

marie21
5
Points
marie21 09/05/09 - 04:52 pm
0
0
Where they live has nothing

Where they live has nothing to do with this. If they earned it then they deserve to have whatever they wanted.

tncc0770
0
Points
tncc0770 09/05/09 - 04:53 pm
0
0
Debster.... your point is

Debster.... your point is what? They lived in those homes because of sheer hard work. If you had ever gone to their store, they were all there, working, and that is why they have done well. Hard work. On top of that, the Weinberger family has shown genuine caring and generosity to their friends, their religious community, and their kids' school. Something must have been terribly wrong for Mr. Weinberger to have done this. Let's let the story be told before we pass judgement. And no matter what, his wife and kids are in for a period of terrible grief, and that is who we should be thinking of.

Debster
1
Points
Debster 09/05/09 - 04:58 pm
0
0
I will be honest and tell you

I will be honest and tell you that I have visited their store and didn't find them to be as friendly as so many of you claim. I'm also saying something shady was evidently going on and I'm certain we'll hear more of this as the details emerge. I couldn't agree more that this family is grieving terribly today and will be for years to come, but there's definitely more to this. And, about them having "earned" the right to live in extremely large homes, I'm skeptical that some of that "earning" was done dishonestly. Let's see what comes out of all of this first, though.

humbleopinion
1
Points
humbleopinion 09/05/09 - 05:03 pm
0
0
It's a shame that HE wasn't

It's a shame that HE wasn't concerned about his family like some of you on here are. If he was such a great family man like some of you say, what was he doing with TWO stolen trailers? What kind of example does that set for his kids? What would getting caught have done to his brother and the family business? No, HE was not concerned about his family. Sorry, but THAT is the truth.

Back to Top
loading...
Search Augusta jobs