April 6, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga.---Richmond County deputies have been all over Washington Road this week, keeping a close watch. Deputies say their increased presence this Masters has meant less crime. They say so far, this Masters Week has been unusually slow.
They've been inside their mobile command unit all week keeping a close eye on Washington Road....and since Sunday, they've arrested a total of three repeat ticket scalpers, taken 40 badges, and arrested one person for having marijuana in their bag as they were attempting to go in the National.
But they say that's all the trouble they've seen.
At this point last year, the sheriff's office had made more than 20 arrests for ticket scalping and had taken many more badges.
Of the only three arrests so far this year, one was a caddy who told authorities he worked for the Augusta National. He was arrested for scalping, and they later found he was wanted in Cobb County, Georgia for failure to pay fines. He's there now, in custody.
Overall, though, officers say the decline in selling badges shows scalpers are getting the message.
"We try to get out there and warn them and let them know the rules, and I've seen more of them now where they should be, so maybe they are getting the message," Col. Gary Powell told News 12.
Col. Powell was in plainclothes; most of the officers are undercover this week. They say that has been huge in being able to make most of the arrests.