A man and woman tried to break into a loan agency in downtown Columbus where customers drop off payments, according to testimony Wednesday morning in Columbus Recorder’s Court.
Sandy Marie Lee, 32, of Phenix City pleaded not guilty to one count each of criminal attempt burglary and loitering. The preliminary hearing for Jonathan Browning, a 26-year-old homeless man who faces the same charges in the case, was continued until 8 a.m. Monday.
Columbus Police Officer David Webb said he responded to 1348 Broadway around 3:11 a.m. Tuesday to investigate a reported burglary at Cook Finance Company.
Authorities allegedly found the suspects sitting on a bench directly in front of the business. Two wooden stakes were found lying next to Browning’s feet, Webb testified.
The mail slot on the front door business was damaged. It leads to a cardboard box inside the building that’s filled with envelopes from customers dropping off payments.
Both suspects were arrested on the scene on the same charges. Browning was given additional charges of possession of cocaine and possession of drug-related objects.
Officials said they found crack cocaine and a pipe in his possession during his arrest.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Lee was ordered held in the Muscogee County Jail. She was awarded a $5,000 bond on the burglary charge and given a five-day sentence on the other charge.
Judge Julius Hunter also ordered her to stay away from the business.