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On the beat: Woman offers ride; then misses pocketbook

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.

'No good deed ...'

A woman reported to the Conyers Police Department that she gave a woman a ride, but had only gone a short way when the woman requested to get out of the car. After she left, the Good Samaritan found that her purse was missing.

Walked off job

The manager at Cars for Christ called the CPD to say an employee sold a car for $1,000 and shortly left the lot. When he called him on his cell phone and asked where he was, he announced he had quit. He asked where the paperwork and money on his most recent transaction were and he said he left them on his desk, but the manager said it wasn't there. A true mystery.

Case of the missing ladder

The CPD was called to an area pawn shop due to an argument between two men concerning a ladder. One man said the ladder had been stolen from him the night before, but the second maintained he had just purchased the ladder in the Kroger parking lot, paying $75 for it. The first man said he had reported the ladder stolen to the Newton County Sheriff's Office and had begun conducting his own investigation by going to area pawn shops, which is where he located Man No. 2 with the ladder. The first man said the ladder had "Atlanta Steel Erector" printed on it, but the police officer said at first glance he didn't see that name on the ladder. However, on closer inspection, the officer noticed an area that had yellow spray paint on it, and upon checking even closer, he discovered the paint was still wet. He found the suspect can of paint inside the second man's truck and when asked about it, he said he had "touched up" the ladder just before taking it to be pawned. He was arrested.

Running through pole beans

A woman reported her purse missing while shopping at Food Depot. When the officer arrived to speak with the victim, another woman came over and told them she had seen the purse "laying in the fresh produce." Ultimately it was discovered that two employees had turned the purse in to customer service.

Wasn't Santa

A woman made a deposit at an ATM outside a local bank, but forgot to get her card. She remembered it on her way out of the parking lot and looked back to see a man wearing a red hoodie at the ATM machine. She went back to the bank and discovered the red-suited man had managed to get $100 out of her account. According to the CPD incident report, the bank reimbursed the woman for half of her loss.

More Christmas shoplifting

A woman returned several items for a refund to Kmart's return desk and then proceeded to "shop." She made a $14.99 purchase, but store employees saw her concealing items totaling $293.11 in her purse and leaving the store. When a store employee approached her in the parking lot, she jumped into a white Buick driven by a man, leaving the employee holding the purse. The store recovered the pilfered items and the woman's ID. Oh, by the way, the purse contained credit cards and $143 in cash. It was turned over to the CPD.

· A man was spotted by an Ingle's employee walking around the store with several boxes of Black & Mild cigars. By the time an employee approached him, he only had one box of cigars in his hand. The employee asked him where the rest of them were and he said he put them on a shelf and he'd show her where they were. According to a CPD incident report, the man suddenly turned to the employee said "he could not lie to her." He then pulled seven boxes of cigars from his coat pocket. He was arrested for shoplifting.

· A man apparently thought no one would notice if he walked out of the Conyers Kroger without paying for the 10 cans of beer stuffed in his pockets, but he was seen walking past the self-checkout registers. An employee told the Conyers Police that he noticed "bulges from his pants and jacket pockets," according to Conyers Police Chief David Cathcart. He was arrested after police found six Budweisers and four Steel Reserves on him.

Say cheese!

A woman notified the NCSO that vandals had damaged her outdoor Christmas decorations, but she had caught them on video tape. According to an incident report, a deputy watched the tape saw three "male subjects" walking down then street. One of them was described as a white man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt who picked up a surveying stick on the woman's property. He then "approached" an inflatable snowman and threw something "that looked like a rock" at it. Apparently this attack was ineffective because he then began flailing the snowman with the stick. He then broke a floodlight on the ground next to the snowman. He then ran away, but now the NCSO knows what the snowman killer looks like.

· An incident also involving three vandals was reported to the NCSO by a man who said he was awakened when he heard glass breaking in his garage. He saw three people wearing black running away, and when he went downstairs to investigate, found that his neighbor's flag pole had been thrown through his garage window. The pole damaged his BMW. The neighbors said the flag pole was in the ground in front of their house the day before.

Guest takes souvenirs

A woman reported she had been robbed and suspected the culprit was her house guest. Among the items stolen were an $1,100 ring and six tattoo machines valued at $1,800.

Grinch sighting

A woman said she arrived home to find a "newer model black Chevy Tahoe with a Georgia Tech tag on the front" parked in her driveway with all the doors open. She asked the woman driver what she was doing and she asked if she knew where a certain family lived. The resident told her she'd never heard of them and the woman got back into her SUV, closed all the doors and sped off. After she left, the homeowner discovered her 4-foot Christmas candle holder missing from her front porch.

· A woman said she arrived home and noticed she had received a package on her front porch. Before she could pick it up, however, a woman approached her and said she was looking for her puppy. The woman gave her permission to look in her backyard and went into the house. When she came back outside to get the package, it was gone. She thinks the puppy seeker may have taken it.

· A man told the NCSO he was expecting FedEx to deliver a package and went on his computer to track the delivery and saw that it was supposed to have been dropped off at his home that day. When he went outside to look for it, all he found were multiple muddy footprints. The package contained a beverage fountain valued at $35.

Can't trust anybody

A woman reported to the CPD she went to the restroom at work and took off her $4,000 diamond ring when she washed her hands. She left it, but by the time she went back to retrieve it, it was gone. She posted a note, but nobody returned her ring.

Friendship

A man called the NCSO after hearing from someone who described himself as an "old friend." He said the man had slashed all four of his tires and beat on his garage door with a pipe.