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On the Beat: Thieves take car, run out of fuel

On the Beat is an occasional reporting of various crimes and complaints confronted by law enforcement personnel in Newton County in the course of their duties. It is compiled by News Editor Barbara Knowles, who can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.

Running on empty

COVINGTON - Two alleged car thieves made the embarrassing mistake of stealing a car, but forgetting to steal enough gas to get them where they were going.

The hapless pair were spotted by a Covington Police officer endeavoring to push a gold Lexus through the parking lot at the Covington Wal-Mart. He offered them assistance, telling them if they'd go into Wal-Mart and buy a gas can, he'd take them to a service station to get some gas.

Of course, as his training required, the officer ran the tag number through the statewide computer system while waiting on the two men to make up their minds how they were going to solve this dilemma. The problem was solved for them, however, when the car came back stolen out of Riverdale. The pair were arrested. The officer had enough gas to get them to jail.

Life's necessities

Two 16-year-old girls were arrested at Publix and charged with shoplifting after being seen stuffing items, valued at $122, in a white purse. Deputies arrived at the store to find two packages of Aquafresh Whiterays, a double kit E.P.T. Pregnancy Test, a Dentek Nightguard mouth guard, 1 pack Gum Crayola dental floss and two packages of Magnum condoms inside the purse. One of the girls had taken her mother's van without permission, and although not licensed to drive without supervision, she said she did it because she "wanted to get some items she needed."

Starting an orchestra?

In two separate incidents, clarinets were stolen from Newton High School band students, according to incident reports from the Newton County Sheriff's Office. One student reported that her clarinet went missing from the band room sometime between Aug. 4 and 18. The total value of the instrument and its case is $850.

Another student reported that on Aug. 11 she was in the cafeteria around

7:45 a.m. waiting for her class to start and put her clarinet case on the floor. She forgot the clarinet when the bell rang for her class and while still en route to the class, she returned to the cafeteria for her instrument. It was gone. The clarinet and case are valued at $1,000.

Emergency measures

A man claiming he had requested power to be cut off at his vacant house told NCSO deputies he was shocked to receive a power bill this month totaling $123. He also told them when a relative had visited the vacant home to retrieve some personal items, he saw an extension cord plugged in that suspiciously led to the house next door.

When confronted, the neighbor admitted his son had plugged in the extension cord, but denied ever using any electricity. He said since his own power had been disconnected, his son went next door and ran the drop cord so he could connect his oxygen machine when he began having a "breathing attack." Thankfully, however, he located his inhaler and the juice was never turned on to the oxygen machine. He said he didn't know who could have used the electricity.

'I'll be back'

A man pumped $75.40 worth of gas at a Newborn gas station and then went inside and told the clerk he didn't have the money to pay for it, but he'd be back the next day. He left a copy of his driver's license, phone number and tag number, but hadn't shown up when deputies were called.

· A woman had a $10 manicure at a Salem Road nail spa, but refused to pay for it and left the shop.

The dog made me do it

NCSO deputies were called to the Newton Medical Center emergency room and met with a man who said while visiting with his neighbor, he fell and injured his shoulder while running from the man's pit bull. He wanted a report of the incident and told deputies he did not feel he should be responsible for the medical bills he incurred.

Roving mailbox

A woman told NCSO deputies that when she went to bed one recent night, she "remembers her mailbox being where it was supposed to be." When she awoke the next morning it was gone. She said that several times during that week her mailbox had been knocked off its post and had been moved. Later that same day, she called to say the mailbox had mysteriously been returned and was back where it should be. She requested a stakeout to be conducted.

Costly conversation

NCSO deputies found a man parked at the end of a cul-de-sac and asked him what he was doing. He said he was talking to his wife, presumably on a cell phone. The deputy asked the man if he drank alcohol or used illegal drugs. He confirmed that he smoked marijuana. The deputy then asked him if he had any marijuana. He said he did, and it could be located in the center console of his vehicle. After asking permission to search, the deputy found the marijuana just where the man said it would be. He was arrested.

Costly spat

A man and his girlfriend got into an argument while picking vegetables at an Oak Hill Road farm. She left the man at the farm and he got a ride from someone else, retrieved his truck and went back to the farm to continue his harvesting. According to him, while he was driving home, the girlfriend was lying in wait and rammed his truck.

According to her, she came back to the farm after he had retrieved his truck and they left at the same time. In her version, he ran into her car with his truck. Both wanted accident reports for insurance purposes.

While checking into a few details necessary for his report, the deputy learned the woman's driving license was suspended, she had no insurance and the registration was suspended. Likewise, the man's driving license was suspended. He then explained to the couple that they both would be going to jail.

The old swimming hole

NCSO deputies found an empty 2007 Suzuki hanging over an embankment near Snapping Shoals Creek and Bethany Road. No driver was on the scene, but he left his cold 22-ounce Busch beers and wallet on the front seat. The vehicle was running and still in reverse.

As deputies began walking the banks of the river trying to locate the driver, a man walked up and told them he had gotten stuck while looking for a place for his son to swim. In addition to being drunk, he was wet and covered with sand. He told officers he had six beers and took Zoloft, Xanax and blood pressure medication. He was charged with DUI.

Speaking the lingo

Using police terminology didn't make this man "one of the guys," after he became unruly and boisterous while CPD officers were seeking to check on another individual's welfare at the scene of a reported fight.

When asked his name, he told them, adding the phrase "no 29s," which is a radio signal meaning he has no outstanding warrants for his arrest. As he continued to cause problems, the police officer informed him he was being arrested for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct. He asked, "Why? I ain't got no 29s."

I've been robbed

A woman told CPD officers she was startled awake in the middle of the night when she heard a banging noise in the house. She said she was too scared to get up, so she went back to sleep.

The next evening about

6 p.m., she began looking for her pocket book and discovered it missing. It was then that she came to the conclusion that her home had been burglarized and $500 in cash was missing.