Police: Three Columbus businesses shut down for illegal activity - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Police: Three Columbus businesses shut down for illegal activity

Kulwant Sing. Source: Muscogee County Jail. Kulwant Sing. Source: Muscogee County Jail.

Columbus Police held a press conference on Friday, May 30, announcing that three Columbus businesses have been shut down for commercial gambling and fencing stolen properties. They say other businesses in the city may be shut down for committing the same crime.

The three businesses — Lucky Food Mart on Floyd Road, Food Mart on Floyd Road and Pyramid Food Store on Buena Vista Road — are all owned by Kulwant Singh. Singh turned him into police on June 4. He is charged with commercial gambling. Singh's son, Mandeep, surrendered to police as well and bonded out of jail. The stores were ceased and shut down simultaneously on Wednesday, May 28, the day Columbus police raided them.

The manager of Lucky Food Mart and Kulwant Singh's relative, Gurdeep Singh, has been arrested for purchasing stolen items and charged with commercial gambling.

"It's a very attractive crime for burglars and business managers to commit, since these stolen electronics and items are easily available to liquidate them," Sgt. Weatherford with the Columbus Police Department Burglary and Theft Unit said. "We are now focusing on not just the burglary and apprehending the suspects, but we are also going after the fencers."

Sgt. Weatherford said the IRS and GBI are also involved in this on-going investigation. He said the suspects would often burglarize homes in the mornings, and sell the stolen electronics and other goods to the store owners for cash that same day.

"Suspects would immediately liquidate these items, so they won't even have them," Sgt. Weatherford said. "They don't have to worry about storing or hiding these items."

Weatherford says officers are now looking for the suspects who sold stolen electronics and other goods to business managers like Singh.

"Many of these electronics and stolen items were being sold as bundle packages to the store managers," Weatherford said. "Basically, the burglars would wrap multiple items together and receive large quantities of cash for large quantity of items."

The Georgia Lottery Commission has also stripped the three businesses of their lottery machines and the lottery selling rights.

"To all businesses out here or anyone who is purchasing items that they either knew or should've know were stolen from people on the streets...we are coming after you," Weatherford said. "We are going to use every resource we ave to shut you down. In many cases, store managers and owners should know they are about to purchase stolen items because of how cheap the burglars are selling them...or the regularity of just one person or two people bringing in numerous electronic items on daily basis for cheap prices."

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