Fighting Crime Through Knowledge

Augusta, GA  |  Florence, SC  |  Greenville, SC
Southern California  |  Central Valley, CA

The Jail Report Expands to Spartanburg Area

The Jail Report is happy to announce the creation of our fourth edition in the Southeast United States.

This new edition covers Spartanburg, Laurens and Union counties. We began distributing the paper in February. We also plan to add Cherokee County in the coming weeks.

As with all of our papers, this edition includes local arrests, mugshots, crime news from those counties and wanted persons. The edition also features dumb crook news from across the country as well as several features, such as our “Fun with Captions,” Match the Convict to the Crime game, our cartoon series “The Lockups” and quotes of the week.

Pick up your copy in most local convenience stores. Questions? Call us at 864-263-0280 or 706-814-1359.

‘The Jail Report’ Buys AugustaCrime.com

The Jail Report has acquired AugustaCrime.com in a move expected to expand the popularity of the online mugshot website and take the crime-fighting newspaper into the future.

Rickabaugh Publishing, LLC, has purchased the website from AugustaOne, LLC, an Augusta-based company specializing in websites.

Greg Rickabaugh, president of Rickabaugh Publishing LLC and publisher of The Jail Report, said the purchase of AugustaCrime.com comes at a perfect time for The Jail Report, which is wrapping up its third year in publication.

“We are always looking for better and quicker ways to bring crime news to the readers of the Augusta-Aiken area. We are also keenly aware of the need to stay on top of the technology boom and offer readers the tools they need to stay informed of crime in their neighborhoods,” Rickabaugh said.

AugustaCrime.com offers hourly updates on suspects who are arrested in Richmond, Columbia and Aiken counties. It also feeds those new mugshots to related Facebook and Twitter feeds.

The Jail Report plans to improve the content currently available on AugustaCrime.com with regular updates of stories, breaking news, wanted people and other features.

At the same time, readers can continue to expect to enjoy the unique content only available in the print edition of The Jail Report, which publishes each Wednesday.

The Jail Report will also continue to operate its popular Facebook page, which has 52,000 fans, making it the most popular Facebook page for news in the CSRA.

In similar regards, AugustaCrime.com has become hugely popular online. It has registered 500,000 page views in the last month with 172,000 unique visitors over the life of the website.

Darlington County Arrests Added to The Jail Report

The Jail Report has begun adding Darlington County arrests to its Pee Dee edition, Publisher Greg Rickabaugh announced Thursday.

Until now, the weekly crime publication had included only arrests from Florence County. But the paper began adding arrests from Darlington County with its Aug. 18 edition.

“Residents of Darlington County reached out to us and asked us to provide them with more information on crime in their community,” Rickabaugh said. “By including arrest information from Darlington County, we believe we can inform residents about the people accused of terrorizing their community, breaking into their homes, driving drunk on their roadways and committing other criminal acts.”

The Pee Dee edition publishes weekly and is distributed Thursdays and Fridays to area convenience stores.

2011 Issue of Registered Sex Offenders Released in Augusta-Aiken Area

On August 19, The Jail Report published the 2011 edition of Registered Sex Offenders in the CSRA.

The paper has a list of all registered sex offenders in Richmond, Aiken, Columbia, Burke and Edgefield counties. This 32-page issue also includes Dumb Crook News, Fun with Captions and sex offender news.

This special edition is only around for a month and there is a limited supply, so pick up your copy today. It’s available at most convenience stores in the area.

Click on image TWICE to see closer look at the cover of the issue.

Greenville County Provides Better Access to Mugshots After Threat of Legal Action by ‘The Jail Report’

GREENVILLE COUNTY, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29, 2011 The Greenville County Department of Public Safety recently upgraded their website to provide the public with better access to criminal mugshots and arrest information, a move that came after the threat of legal action by The Jail Report Inc.

Instead of requiring citizens to purchase a jail log with names of those arrested before they could view mugshots online, the county now allows website users to search online without knowing the name. This allows the public to have free access to see who has been arrested and formally charged with crimes in Greenville County. (View mugshots by logging onto: http://app.greenvillecounty.org/inmate_search.htm )

“After a year-long battle with Greenville County, we are pleased to declare victory in our fight to get better access to mugshots, which the state has clearly deemed are public records under the Freedom of Information Act,” said Greg Rickabugh, Publisher of The Jail Report. “The public has a right to know and see who is being formally charged with a crime. While there is still room to grow, we are happy that the county has decided to join other law enforcement agencies in South Carolina in providing more openness.”

Background:

After denying requests for easier access to mugshots of ALL criminal suspects for more than a year, The Jail Report hired attorney Wallace K. Lightsey, a well-respected media attorney. In his May 16th letter, Lightsey informed the county that refusal to provide easier access to mugshots could “only be viewed as a willful violation” of the Freedom of Information Act, which is a criminal misdemeanor offense.

In his response, county attorney Mark Tollison referenced the battle by The Jail Report and said his agency had revised the inmate information available on the website and created a new inquiry system.

“As part of the changes, there is a new search feature which allows users to retrieve an alphabetical listing of all inmates and the ‘book date,’” Tollison wrote. “The county will continue to look for ways to create ease of access for citizens to public records.”

About Us: The Jail Report is a crime-fighting publication with editions in upstate South Carolina, Florence County, the Augusta-Aiken area and in California. The Upstate edition includes arrest and crime information for Greenville, Laurens, Greenwood and Abbeville counties. The weekly paper is sold in local convenience stores. The paper’s motto is “Fighting crime through knowledge.” That simply means that this crime newspaper hopes to arm the public with information that will help them make decisions to protect them, their family and their property. By knowing the names and faces of people accused of committing crimes in our neighborhoods, readers can make more informed decisions on the people they associate with and allow into their lives.

Contact: Greg Rickabaugh, Publisher , 704-763-9270, or email: publisher@thejailreport.com

Jail Report Begins Crime Newspaper in Florence

FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (Thursday, March 3, 2011) — The Jail Report Inc. announces the expansion of its crime-fighting publication to Florence County, S.C.
New issues of this weekly paper begin hitting stores in the Pee Dee region on Thursday, March 3, 2011.
Publisher Greg Rickabaugh said he is thrilled to expand the paper into its fifth market. The Jail Report is already published in Upstate South Carolina, the Augusta-Aiken area and two markets in Southern California.
“Readers across the state of South Carolina, in Georgia and in California already benefit from the crime information provided by The Jail Report. Now, we are able to provide residents of Florence County with the ability to fight crime through knowledge.”
The Jail Report’s mission is to arm readers with information that will help them make decisions to protect them, their family and their property.
The paper will publish weekly on Thursdays. COntact the Florence staff by emailing jailreportflorence@gmail.com.

WRDW Goes “Behind the Scenes” of The Jail Report

This week, WRDW-TV Anchor Meredith Anderson took her viewers behind the scenes of The Jail Report to look at the fascination behind this popular crime publication in the Augusta-Aiken area.

Viewers were treated to a lengthy interview with Publisher Greg Rickabaugh, comments from delivery driver Pat Niman and reaction from readers who love and hate the edgy newspaper.

Below is a transcript of the story and a link to the video:

VIDEO: Click here

STORY TRANSCRIPT:

AUGUSTA—They say crime doesn’t pay, but for one man it sure does. That’s because every week, he sells it, and thousands and thousands of you buy it.

“The Jail Report” is a paper of mug shots. In it, you can find the faces of your neighbors. Maybe your coworkers. Your ex. Maybe they went to high school with you or go to your church, and they hope you never see it.

Greg Rickabaugh hopes you do. He is the face behind all the faces in the “Jail Report.”

“People ask me, where are you located? They think like the Chronicle, they can come and buy a copy. No. I do this out of my house,” says Greg. We caught up with him on a nice day outside Metro in downtown Augusta. His office is wherever his laptop is. “There was a vacation I took to Myrtle Beach, and I put that week’s paper together vacationing on the beach.”

But a trip to jail? That’s no vacation for any of the people in the “Jail Report” every week. Still, some don’t seem to mind. Every week, Greg prints mug shots where people are smiling. “Some of these people look like they’re posing for a high school yearbook photo or a Glamour Shots photo even,” Greg laughs.

He admits these mug shots can be entertaining, but that’s not why he prints the paper. “I wouldn’t tell this to everybody, but I have a tattoo of Batman on my arm, so I think I’m a crime-fighter and all that.”

Even though all these mug shots are public record, meaning anyone could get them, printing them in a paper for all to see makes them even more public. Most of these arrests, like one for trespassing, might never air on News 12 or show up in another paper, but every week you see them here. Greg hopes that exposure will make you think twice before getting arrested yourself. “When the public knows, I think it changes people’s actions.”

And the public wants to know. We couldn’t even interview Greg without someone asking him for a copy, and when we went in search of readers, everyone asked to see my copy. They wanted to see if they knew anyone facing charges. We even met someone who has been printed in the paper. “I’ve actually been in the “Jail Report,”"
said Jordan Christensen. He wasn’t happy about it. “I find it implorable (sic) that someone would capitalize on your moment of weakness.”

One of Greg’s few employees, and he only has about a dozen, begs to differ. Pat Niman says she’s heard some sob stories. “I try to tell them, the paper doesn’t ruin their life. Their actions caused their problems. Not the paper.”

Pat’s one of Greg’s delivery drivers, and delivery day starts early. She loads up her van before the sun comes up, and once on the road, she has fifty stops to make. “A lot of times, I pull up and there’s people that’s been waiting for a while for the paper. They’ll come in right behind me and get the paper.”

But it didn’t start out that way.The first ever “Jail Report” sold 3,000 copies. That was a year and a half ago. Now, Greg sells almost 20,000 a week, and he’s got more than 28,000 fans of his facebook of sorts on Facebook. Greg told us, “It’s very profitable. I feed my family with this.”

He’s also feeding your curiosity. What are your neighbors up to this week? You’ll have to wait until Wednesday to find out.

Something to point out: all of these mug shots represent arrests. They don’t mean you’re guilty. That’s for the courts to decide. Greg says if he prints your mug shot and you are found innocent or your charges are dropped, he’ll print that. He says people have already taken him up on that.

As for waiting until the suspects are convicted to post their mug shots, Greg says it’s the “Jail Report” and not the “Conviction Report.” During our interview, he brought up someone he personally knows who’s been arrested multiple times for DUI but always got out of it with a high-priced attorney. He says if he knew his mug shot was going to be printed, he might have changed his ways. In the “Jail Report,” he says everyone is equal. You can’t buy your way out of it, and people have tried. He’s been offered as much as $20,000 not to print a mug, but he said “no thanks”.

Greg also sent me a statement about why he doesn’t wait for the people he prints to go to trial. It is posted below.

We do not wait until a conviction because we are not a paper of convictions. We are a report on the jail, people who have had the law enforcement finger pointed at them for allegedly committing a crime.

We are a print edition for the mugshots that are already available online to the public on websites operated by the sheriff’s offices in Richmond, Aiken and Columbia counties.

To wait for convictions allows wealthy people to hide behind their expensive lawyers and connections. We personally know of a man who continued to get DUIs and was always able to weasel his way out of it with a high-priced attorney. If he knew that his business clients would know that he was a drunk driver who endangered their children’s lives every weekend, we believe he would have curtailed his actions.

If newspapers waited for convictions, you would have never known OJ Simpson was charged with murdering two people. He was found not guilty, so no one would have ever been told of his charges.

Laws give us the right to publish mugshots and charges. Again, we let people know the people are innocent until proven guilty. We cannot help how someone else takes this information and uses it. Unlike other papers, we offer people the chance to publish a not-guilty verdict. And a few people have taken us up on the offer.

Those are a few of our motivations.

Sex Offender Paper Released

On October 1, The Jail Report published the Fall edition of Registered Sex Offenders in the CSRA.

The paper has a list of all registered sex offenders in Richmond, Aiken, Columbia, Burke and Edgefield counties. This 32-page issue also includes Dumb Crook News, Fun with Captions and sex offender news.

This special edition is only around for a month and there is a limited supply, so pick up your copy today. It’s available at most convenience stores in the area.

Our Response to EdgefieldDaily.com Column

To the editor of EdgefieldDaily.com:

RE: http://edgefielddaily.com/columns090210.html

After reading your column about The Jail Report, I thought it might be helpful to let you know a little about our publication for future reference.

I am the publisher and started the paper in June 2009 out of passion for journalism and the police beat. As you are well aware with the popularity of your website, there is room for different kinds of media these days instead of the traditional newspapers and TV stations.

Ever since we started our publication in the CSRA, residents of Edgefield County have been begging us to add their county and provide them with the same crime information we provided to Richmond, Aiken and Columbia counties.

From Arielle Demetria Thomas: “I feel like we need to know what goes on in Edgefield because the crime blotter is only reported once a week and doesn’t give much info.”

So after more than a year, we finally agreed to add Edgefield County information to our paper.

I should also point our that I have a great love for Edgefield County. As a youth, I spent much time in the county for family events. I even rode a bicycle through the streets of downtown Edgefield on several occasions. To this day, I have family connections in Edgefield.

With that said, I thought it was time to accept the invitation of Edgefield residents to come there and provide them with specific crime and arrest information.

I called the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office and asked for Sheriff Dobey, and I was directed to Capt. Chris Wash. I introduced myself and tried to explain about our paper. He quickly said that they were “not interested in participating.”

Can you imagine what you would have done at Edgefielddaily.com if they had told you that they were “not interested in participating” when you first started your website? I’d really like to know your answer to that.

I humbly explained that we were going to start the publication and were not asking for permission, but that we wanted to work with them to be a resource. I acknowledged that the sheriff’s office was probably overworked like most agencies and that we would be willing to pay for mugshots or incident reports. He said we could come down and get the bookings and reports like anyone else.

Soon after, though, the jail informed me that Sheriff Dobey was declining to release mugshots because they were property of the sheriff and private. We were forced to get the involvement of the S.C. Sheriff’s Association and the S.C. Press Association to explain to Sheriff Dobey that they are public record under state law. (To this day, Sheriff Dobey refuses to meet with us to even discuss our publication, and he has refused to send us press releases until we are “established”.)

We have never asked for anything free. This week, when we got incident reports and the wonderful woman in records printed them out for us, I asked her if we owed her anything. She said no. (We would kindly pay for them. Do you pay for reports and mugshots?)

It seems you believe that if you published all mugshots on edgefielddaily.com, that we would become unnecessary. We disagree. The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office publishes all of their mugshots online, but yet we still sell hundreds of papers a week in Columbia County.

Surely, you understand that there are people who do not enjoy Internet access and would enjoy a printed publication? I know you are a popular website, and for good reason. But you are not the only game in town.

Plus, our paper also includes an entertaining look at crime and the dumb crooks who cause society so many problems.

One more point. If you ever ran into trouble getting information from a public entity, we would hope you would not expect us to jump to conclusions, get one side of the story and then write an opinion column trashing you for having the nerve to seek the information. As a fellow journalist, you would want us to stick up for you. And we would. It’s disappointing that you are not doing the same for us.

Please don’t hesitate to call us for both sides of the story next time. I can personally be reached at 706-814-1359.

Thank you,

Greg Rickabaugh, Publisher
The Jail Report

The Jail Report’s New Website

Take a look at our redesigned website – thejailreport.com . It features a blog, content from our Facebook page, information on where to buy The Jail Report, how to advertise and frequently asked questions. The best part is that regular mugshots are added here and are viewable on the left bar. Feel free to leave us comments and suggestions here as well. Enjoy.