Thieves get $25,000 from Richmond tax office break-in

Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010 9:44 AM
Last updated Friday, Jan. 29, 2010 7:34 AM
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Authorities are investigating the theft of $25,000 stolen from the tax commissioner's office sometime over the holiday weekend.

Thieves got in through this window at the Richmond County tax office.  Rainier Ehrhardt/ Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/ Staff
Thieves got in through this window at the Richmond County tax office.

The cash and checks, all taxpayer money, were kept in an unsecured vault on the ground floor of the Municipal Building, according to Lt. Tony Walden.

A thief, or thieves, used a cinder block to smash their way into the building sometime between Friday afternoon and this morning, when an employee found the broken window.

Steven Kendrick, tax commissioner for Richmond County, said today that the vault was left open intentionally on Friday because several employees stayed late to finish some transactions due to the holiday. The vault contains numerous safes which are opened with keys. Mr. Kendrick said the money and checks were locked inside these safes.

"What happened was they pried open all of these individual safes themselves," Mr. Kendrick said. "Although the vault was not closed itself, the individual storage safes were closed and locked."

Mr. Kendrick said he thinks the vault, which opens with a code, was left open by one of the employees but that he can't be sure whether or not someone opened it himself.

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motorheadaches
0
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motorheadaches 01/19/10 - 05:14 pm
0
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Yep, like he had much of a

Yep, like he had much of a chance anyway!

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 01/19/10 - 05:31 pm
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Word is floating around Lori

Word is floating around Lori davis may run.

Edward B. Turner
69
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Edward B. Turner 01/19/10 - 05:37 pm
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Bad management, Mr. Kendrick.

Bad management, Mr. Kendrick. If you worked for me (and, of course, in a way you actually do,) you'd be fired immediately. Unforgivable and slack.

mycomments
339
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mycomments 01/19/10 - 05:47 pm
0
0
I worked there 15 years ago

I worked there 15 years ago under Jerry Saul. The vault is like a bank safe deposit box vault. There is no window in the vault. The window is to an office behind the vault. The vault has a lead door about 18" thick with a combination lock. Inside are individual boxes that lock with a key. Standard procedure was to balance your cash drawer and put it in the individual box assigned to you. You are accompanied to the box with the individual assigned to lock each person's box. After everyone has put their cash drawer in, the vault door is closed and locked. Mr. Kendrick says the vault was left open intentionally because some employees were working late due to the holiday. Well then, Mr. Kendrick should have worked late too and made sure the vault was secured before leaving, especially with a holiday weekend. Were the employees working late so trustworthy that he didn't have to worry about them placing "all" the money in the vault? Remember the tag office employee who stole thousands? Maybe it was an employee who took the money that night and broke a window and pryed some boxes to make it look like a break-in. Who were the last employees to leave? Just too many questions here...

dichotomy
34491
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dichotomy 01/19/10 - 05:50 pm
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$25K ??? What is that kind of

$25K ??? What is that kind of money doing laying around the tax office. Nobody pays their taxes in cash! Is this the tax office's Sam's Club slush fund? This calls for the firing of the person or persons that left the vault open and firing of ever who made the policy to keep that much cash "floating" around the minicipal building instead of in a bank. And with no security on top of everything else. No cameras. No alarm. Augusta/RC. The finest example of just how incompetent a local government and it's employees can be.

Just My Opinion
5885
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Just My Opinion 01/19/10 - 05:52 pm
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Unsecured safe? No video? No

Unsecured safe? No video? No alarm? What is this, Mayberry?? I'm thinking they should be on the lookout for either Ernest T. Bass or Otis! On second thought, Otis is just a drunk, not a thief. Ernest T. has those little beady eyes, and you just can't trust him...especially if he has a rock in his hand! I'll be his beloved Romeena had put him up to it!

pointstoponder
303
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pointstoponder 01/19/10 - 06:00 pm
0
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dichotomy, obviously some

dichotomy, obviously some people DO pay their taxes in cash.

Rozzie2003
5
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Rozzie2003 01/19/10 - 06:17 pm
0
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INSIDE JOB___INSIDE

INSIDE JOB___INSIDE JOB---Doesn't pass the Smell TEST! Too much of a coincidental act. Kendrick, get on the ball and get the SheriffDepartment to investigate all employees. Your thief is in the office. Act Fast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Patty-P
3516
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Patty-P 01/19/10 - 06:18 pm
0
0
Inside job. And just HOW do

Inside job. And just HOW do they plan to recoupe the loss?

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 01/19/10 - 06:19 pm
0
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Just when I thought Augusta

Just when I thought Augusta government couldn't get any more incompetent

donnymack
1
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donnymack 01/19/10 - 06:53 pm
0
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It was probably a janitor who

It was probably a janitor who grabbed the stash and then went outside and broke the window.

motorheadaches
0
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motorheadaches 01/19/10 - 06:55 pm
0
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Parking meter revenue from

Parking meter revenue from the DDA @5:18

KSL
134725
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KSL 01/19/10 - 07:08 pm
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It does sound like a crime

It does sound like a crime committed by someone who knew inside details.

deadtired
7
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deadtired 01/19/10 - 07:10 pm
0
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now you no why the north did

now you no why the north did not burn augusta back during the war there was and still not a goverment smart enough to give them any trouble

deadtired
7
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deadtired 01/19/10 - 07:12 pm
0
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Kendrick do you need a pay

Kendrick do you need a pay raise ?

Asitisinaug
3
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Asitisinaug 01/19/10 - 07:35 pm
0
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What this governemnt isn't

What this governemnt isn't wasting or giving away to employees that should be fired they are allowing to be stolen with most likely little to no reprecusions. This government needs a real leader because right now we are a ship with no captain and continue to just thow more money and more studies at everything. It is pathetic and disgusting.

dichotomy
34491
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dichotomy 01/19/10 - 07:35 pm
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I guess this pretty well

I guess this pretty well wiped out the $35K Kendrick made auctioning off the tax delinquent properties week before last. Remember Mr. Kendrick, one "aawww crap" wipes out two "atta boys"

disssman
6
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disssman 01/19/10 - 07:42 pm
0
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This is the one example of a

This is the one example of a win-win that I believe in. The thief wins because our local government is too stupid to write some standard procedures to be followed. The people who sent in checks are winners because their forms were probably filed as paid and the checks will never go against their accounts. Maybe we need to buy some of the 2-300 dollar camera systems at SAMS.

Dixieman
15999
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Dixieman 01/19/10 - 07:58 pm
0
0
inside job, unsecured safe,

inside job, unsecured safe, no alarm/video, smells like 10-day-old fish

ustabe
1
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ustabe 01/19/10 - 08:03 pm
0
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Or maybe just have the

Or maybe just have the employees take the money home with them and put it under their beds. It'd be just as safe there as in the OPEN vault!

helpicantfindthespacebar
1
Points
helpicantfindthespacebar 01/19/10 - 08:17 pm
0
0
Inside job, for sure....

Inside job, for sure....

dani
12
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dani 01/19/10 - 08:24 pm
0
0
A cover-up for theft,

A cover-up for theft, perhaps?

Pu239
284
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Pu239 01/19/10 - 08:29 pm
0
0
Did Barney or Otis get hurt?
Unpublished

Did Barney or Otis get hurt?

puddingtane
0
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puddingtane 01/19/10 - 08:48 pm
0
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I paid my taxes! They must

I paid my taxes! They must have stolen the records too....

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 01/19/10 - 09:14 pm
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Austin Rhodes was all over

Austin Rhodes was all over this today like stink on doo doo.

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 01/19/10 - 09:15 pm
0
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Will the Chronicle start

Will the Chronicle start digging on this story? or will they let Austin Rhodes, Scott Hudson, and Chris Thomas do all the work as usual?

BetanInyoe
0
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BetanInyoe 01/19/10 - 09:25 pm
0
0
This appears to be a dang

This appears to be a dang good investment in the cost of a brick and a crowbar.

mvirgin
0
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mvirgin 01/19/10 - 09:25 pm
0
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Guess who is going to pay for

Guess who is going to pay for this? We need more / bigger government.

guess who
0
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guess who 01/19/10 - 09:32 pm
0
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give a lie detec test to

give a lie detec test to everyone that work in that dept,
inside job.

JohnQPublic
5
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JohnQPublic 01/19/10 - 09:36 pm
0
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Someone knew about that! How

Someone knew about that! How in the world was anything left unlocked in the office. And, why wasn't the office secure from the outside as well, with bars on the windows! This stinks like an inside job. It was somebody who knows the procedures of that office and knew exactly what was going on that day!

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