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Sheriff: Store clerk stole shoplifter's card and made purchases
Valerie Regina Hearns - photo by Special
    A convenience store clerk who nabbed three shoplifters did a little taking herself when she stole one of the offender's credit card, said Bulloch County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Gene McDaniel.
    On Nov. 28, Bulloch County Sheriff's deputies were called to Time Saver #17 at the corner of Sinkhole Road and Ga. 46 regarding a shoplifting incident, he said.
    Two men and a woman entered the store and tried shoplifting "eight cans of beer," he said. When the clerk, Valerie Regina Hearns, 31, Cedarwood Acres, caught and confronted them, the two men fled the store and took off in a vehicle, leaving the woman behind.
    "The female called them on the cell phone," asking the men to return to  the store, and  they did, he said. Hearns called deputies, who arrived and placed the two men under arrest, he said.
    But when they ran, one man dropped his wallet, McDaniel said. Hearns found it and later handed it over to deputies, but not before she "took his credit or debit card," he said.
    The deed wasn't discovered until Dec. 5, when  the shoplifting suspect came to the sheriff's department  to report someone had been making unauthorized charges on his credit card.
    Investigation revealed Hearns had used the card twice at the store where she worked, Time saver #17, where her mother was manager, McDaniel said.
    The same night she caught the shoplifting suspects, Hearns charged $65 and $82 to the credit card at the convenience store. Then, over the next four days she charged "about $25 at Krystal," made two charges at other convenience stores for $30 each, and she and another unknown person were videotaped at Wal-Mart using the card, he said.
    There, the unknown person had possession of the card and swiped it at  the register to the tune of about $230, he said. Hearns was visibly identifiable in the store video, he said.
    Deputies arrested Hearns, charging her with one charge of financial transaction card theft and four counts of financial transaction card fraud, he said.
    Hearns was taken to the Bulloch County Jail where she remains without bond, a jail spokesman said Wednesday.
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