Robber strikes Dunkin' Donuts on Highway 20

COVINGTON - A cashier at Dunkin' Donuts located at 5314 Ga. Highway 20 was robbed at gunpoint Saturday morning, according to the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff-Elect Ezell Brown said the gunman entered the doughnut shop between 11 a.m. and noon while three employees were in the store. He said the suspect brandished a black, semi-automatic handgun.

"The suspect grabbed the cashier and forced her to open the cash drawer," Brown said, adding that the man took money from the drawer and fled on foot.

"He ran out the front door and headed in the direction of the rear of the store," Brown said.

There was no physical description of the suspect available, and the only information investigators have is that he was "wearing a disguise," Brown said.

"We are actively seeking out information on who is responsible for the robbery," he said.

In other crime news, Brown said household burglaries have increased during December.

"It's not out of the norm for burglaries to increase this time of the year, particularly with the economy in the condition it is in." he said. "Those who do not have, or the criminals, go out and take advantage of the situation because households have more than they normally would have in there. That's more for the taking for the bad guys. Generally, you see a 5 to 10 percent increase in burglaries."

Also, six classroom trailers located behind Livingston Elementary School were recently broken into. The trailers were heavily damaged, although Principal Wendy Hughes reported to the NCSO that it appeared nothing had been taken.

According to an incident report completed by Deputy Timothy Dickerson, back windows were broken in all six trailers and the lighting fixtures on the fronts of the trailers were damaged.

"Inside the classrooms were ransacked," the report stated. "The bookshelves were turned over, desks were turned over, as well as the computers. In one classroom curse words were written on the bulletin board."

Food and beverages were strewn about one of the trailers, used by the school's PTO, and the copy machine inside received an estimated $1,500 in damages.

Brown asked that anyone with information on any of these incidents should contact his office.

"We encourage the community to become involved to provide information and tips as a way to assist us as well as us assisting them," he said.

The NCSO can be contacted by calling 678-625-1400 or tips can also be given anonymously at 678-625-5007 or through its Web site at www.newtonsheriffga.org and clicking on "anonymous tip line." Those who want a response from NCSO personnel should leave contact information.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.