A surveillance video allegedly shows two burglary suspects repeatedly crashing into the front doors of a local Food Mart early Saturday morning before stealing a crate of cigarettes, according to testimony Wednesday in Columbus Recorder’s Court.
Columbus Police Officer Ronnie Oakes said he and another officer were called to the business to investigate after its alarm sounded around 4:10 a.m. When he arrived, he saw a 2008 Kia Optima stopped on the north side of the building with the engine running.
The glass doors and windows of the Food Mart were shattered.
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“Before I could exit my vehicle, I observed a white female later identified as Sarah Poe attempting to exit the store through the damaged entrance with a plastic crate filled with an unknown quantity of Newport cigarettes,” Oakes testified. “I observed Ms. Poe drop the plastic crate that was filled with the cigarettes on the floor, and then she began running toward the back of the store.”
Oakes said he followed her into the store, where he located Poe and McHone. No one else was found inside of the building, which was left with $10,000 worth of damage.
Officials said they reviewed store surveillance video that shows McHone repeatedly ramming the Kia into the front doors of the business with Poe sitting in the passenger seat.
“Ms. Poe and Mr. McHone were then observed on camera entering the store through the damaged doors and running to the register area of the Food Mart,” Oakes told the court. “Ms. Poe and Mr. McHone were observed on camera forcibly removing the plastic cover from the cigarette area and filling the plastic crate with various packs of Newport cigarettes.”
Officials said Poe stated on the scene that she needed to call someone to pick up the Kia Optima. She also told police that McHone was driving the vehicle during the incident, according to Oakes’ testimony.
McHone and Poe pleaded not guilty to one count each of second-degree burglary and second-degree criminal damage to property. She was ordered to be held in the Muscogee County Jail under bonds totaling $25,000, while he was denied bond on the burglary charge.
Judge Julius Hunter bound the cases over to Superior Court.