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Cars damaged by rock-wielding vandals

COVINGTON - Newton County authorities are again urging residents to be on the lookout for suspicious activity along roadways as two more motorists became the latest victims of vandals last week.

Newton County Sheriff's Office Deputy Darrell Odom responded to the area of Mills Drive and Salem Road about 7 p.m. Dec. 9 after two women reported they had unknown objects hurled at their vehicles, the deputy said in an incident report.

One of the victim's vehicles received minor damage to the driver's side window, while the other received damage to her passenger side door.

Lt. Bill Watterson, spokesman for the NCSO, said this is the first time they've had reports of this type of vandalism in the area and indicated they will increase patrols as a precaution.

Watterson also said he believed these acts of vandalism were the work of juveniles and the objects they used to damage the vehicles were likely rocks.

"This is a serious case and (the suspects) could be charged with reckless conduct or aggravated assault. If somebody gets hurt they would be held responsible for that, both civilly and criminally," Watterson said in a previous interview with the Citizen.

Since June, similar rock-throwing incidents have been reported at several other intersections in Newton County, including Ga. 162 at Mote Road, Ga. Highway 81 at Macedonia Church Road and Fairview Road at Womack Road.

Authorities recommend drivers approach people on the side of the road with caution and immediately pull over and call 911 if their vehicle is struck with an object.

Investigators ask anyone with information about these incidents to call the NCSO at 678-625-1403. Tips can be given to the NCSO anonymously at 678-625-5007 or through the Web at www.newtonsheriffga.org by clicking on "anonymous tip line." Those who want a response from NCSO personnel should leave contact information.

Joel Griffin can be reached at joel.griffin@newtoncitizen.com.