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On the beat: Thieves take metal items from property

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.

COVINGTON - Thieves made off with three metal roofs and a wood-burning stove from a mobile home and two sheds on county-owned property off Macedonia Road.

The theft was reported to the Newton County Sheriff's Office on July 2, and the value of items taken was estimated at $5,280.

No one is living on the property, which was purchased for the Bear Creek Reservoir project.

"That was some surplus property that we've had that's going to be under water anyway," said Board of Commissioners Chairman Aaron Varner, but he added that it's a concern that trespassers were on the property.

"Right now we don't have anyone authorized to go on that property," he said.

Varner said the high selling price of scrap metal has got thieves "stealing everything that's not nailed down," adding that he's seen manhole covers missing in numerous subdivisions.

Thieves are often targeting subdivisions that are still in development or are under foreclosure, he said.

Basic English

An NCSO deputy narrowly avoided colliding with a pickup exiting a trailer park on Access Road. When he attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver accelerated, left the roadway and the truck spun 180 degrees, the deputy said in his report. The deputy moved his patrol unit to block the truck and ordered the driver to show his hands. He saw that the driver was Hispanic, so he gave the command several times in Spanish. The driver ignored the deputy and as he cautiously approached the vehicle with his gun drawn, the deputy was able to see that the driver had his cell phone in his hand. Once more he commanded the man in Spanish and English to raise both of his hands, to which the driver replied, "I call my lawyer."

The driver was later found to be intoxicated and when he was informed he was being arrested for DUI, it was apparent that he had taken his lawyer's advice. "I do nothing. No test," he said.

Not the kitchen sink

The Newton County Sheriff's Office reported that a set of kitchen cabinets, valued at $6,000, were stolen from a new home on McGiboney Lane.

· A dishwasher valued at $550 was found on the side of Livingston Lane. It was believed to have been removed from a home on Joshua Creek Court.

· A local garage owner told the NCSO that someone took four wheels off of a customer's vehicle that was in to have its transmission repaired.

· The owner of a day care center arrived at work at 6 a.m. to find that 250 feet of green nylon privacy fencing attached to his chain link fence had been taken overnight.

· A Lithonia woman who traveled all the way to Covington to stay in a hotel reported to the CPD that someone stole her dress from the laundry basket in her room. It is described as a black and white halter dress valued at $75.

· A Greenway Drive woman notified the NCSO that her house was burglarized and thousands of dollars worth of cash, electronics, automotive items and jewelry were taken. Items included $1,500 in cash; $2,200 in jewelry; four flat-screen TVs valued at $5,058; a surround sound entertainment system worth $8,000; a CD player and speakers valued at $1,600; three computers worth $2,700; an iPod worth $400; PlayStation 3 and six games worth $950; a Kirby vacuum valued at $1300; digital cameras and equipment worth $700; and $4,500 worth of tires and rims. An unknown amount of food was also taken from the refrigerator, as well has her curling iron and hair dryer.

Living in the past

A man driving a car with a South Carolina tag was a wee bit short on his estimate of the cost of a six-pack of Bud Light valued at $6 and a Supershot energy drink valued at $3. The clerk at an Almon Road convenience store said the man was in line to pay for the beverages and his gas when his wife began yelling from outside that the gas pump was overflowing onto their car. The man reportedly threw $3 on the counter and said, "This should cover it," before fleeing the store.

Big catch

A fisherman at Newton Factory Shoals flagged down a deputy and told him he had seen a Jeep in the water. The deputy located the 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee and was able to see through the water to get the tag number. Computer records showed the vehicle had been stolen out of Porterdale in February.

Smothered, covered and gone

An Alcovy Road Waffle House waitress told officers with the Covington Police Department that three men had come to the restaurant and ordered $23.91 worth of food. After eating, they placed a to-go order in the amount of $5.89 and went outside as if they were going to smoke while the order was cooked. Instead, they took off running toward a blue Ford F-150 pickup and fled south on Alcovy Road. Surveillance video is being studied.

Would not rehire

An area business reported to the NCSO that a fired employee used a company gas card, charging more than $1,500 while he was off on sick leave. He had also failed to return assorted equipment and tools after he was terminated.

Staff reporter Crystal Tatum contributed to this story.