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Wine theft proves costly in Portal
Antonio Lee Saunders
    A man Portal Police said shoplifted wine was wanted on more serious charges, including motor vehicle theft.
     Antonio Lee Saunders, 24, West Main Street, entered Clyde's Market in Portal Wednesday evening and grabbed an ice bucket the store uses for filling beverage coolers and dispensers, said Portal Police Chief Jason Sapp.
     After filling the bucket with ice from the store's ice machine, Saunders, formerly of a Portal address, tucked "two large bottles of Wild Irish Rose wine and two 20 ounce Cokes" into the ice bucket and left the building without paying for the items, he said.
     After store clerks reported the shoplifting incident, Sapp found Saunders a block away from the store on Baptist Street, " and he appeared to be pretty well intoxicated to me," he said.
     Saunders had already consumed one bottle of the wine, he said.
     Sapp placed Saunders under arrest, charged with theft by shoplifting and public intoxication. However, there were more serious charges waiting on Saunders at the Bulloch County Jail.
     Three outstanding warrants were waiting for Saunders for burglary, probation violation and theft by taking motor vehicle.
     A Riggs Mill Court woman, who once dated Saunders, reported a computer taken in a burglary July 2, and her car was stolen July 8, said Bulloch County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Capt. Todd Hutchens.
Pawn shop records led to Sheriff's Inv. Jared Akins finding the stolen computer, and further investigations linked Saunders to the burglary.
     Also, Saunders was listed as a suspect in the theft of the 2007 Chevrolet Impala that belonged to Saunders former girlfriend, Hutchens said. After the stolen vehicle was located in Tifton July 16, the victim told investigators Saunders had called her a few times since the theft, asking her where he should leave the car, he said.
     Saunders is being held at the Bulloch County Jail without bond, according to jail records.

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