Judge denies bond in robbery case

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Magistrate Judge Larry Blanding denied bond for Zachary Nathan Williams, the man arrested for allegedly breaking into two stores in the county and attempting to rob a third, during a first-appearance hearing at Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center on Friday.

An investigator with Sumter County Sheriff's Office said 32-year-old Williams' run-ins with the law began in Palm Beach, Florida, in 2004. She said Williams' criminal record includes more than 65 pages containing multiple larceny and drug charges and warrants for failing to appear in court.

For his recent alleged criminal activity, Williams is charged with first-degree burglary for reportedly breaking into a store at 2525 U.S. 15 South and taking items valued at more than $2,000 on Oct. 8; first-degree burglary for allegedly breaking into the Piggly Wiggly at 1455 S. Guignard Drive and taking items valued at about $500 on Oct. 13; and attempted armed robbery for allegedly attempting to rob a Food Lion at 1785 U.S. 15 South on Oct. 14.

According to a news release from the sheriff's office, Williams entered the Food Lion, handed the store clerk a Western Union form with the words "this is a hold up" written on it and told her he had a gun.

In surveillance footage of the incident, the clerk handed the form back to Williams and walked away from the counter. Williams then left the store.

Also, a magistrate judge set a $10,000 surety bond for Williams regarding a first-degree burglary charge for allegedly breaking into the Corner Pantry convenience store at 501 N. Guignard Drive and taking items on Oct. 17. This charge was brought by Sumter Police Department.

Williams was arrested Thursday evening at his residence without incident when deputies executed a search warrant.

Williams, whose address is listed as 3677 Oat Field Road, Lot A, Sumter, will be held at the detention center and will go before a Third Circuit judge on Dec. 1 for another hearing.