On the beat: Car not delivered from eBay purchase

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.

Internet woes

A man notified the Newton County Sheriff's Office that he had paid $4,600 to purchase a car on eBay Motors, but the car was not delivered.

· A man reported to the NCSO that he was suspicious about a job that had been offered him over the Internet. A marketing survey company sent him a check for $3,700, instructing him to deposit it into his bank account, keep $400, and send the balance back to them.

Law enforcement warns such offers are usually scams designed to have the person forward the funds back to the marketing company, but several days later discovers that the original check was not valid.

Faded money

The clerk at an area package store notified the Covington Police Department that a man was in his store, attempting to pass a counterfeit $5 bill. When officers arrived, they immediately noticed the bill appeared to have faded. The man said he received the bill as change at an area fast food restaurant and went swimming with it in his pocket. He noticed when he left the pool that the money appeared to have faded and he asked the opinion of a local law enforcement officers, who allegedly told him not to worry, the money was real. He then proceeded to try to convince a pizza restaurant and an area store that it was real, but both declined to accept it. The package store was his last effort as the bill was confiscated by the police.

Gas can theft

Ga. Highway 36 residents reported to the NCSO about 10 p.m. recently that someone was knocking on their doors and windows. One of the complainants happened to mention that he had seen a woman who had run out of gas down the road.

When deputies found the woman, she was pouring gas from a plastic container into her vehicle's gas tank. She told deputies "a little old man" gave her the gas and gas can. While continuing their check of the neighborhood, one of the deputies checked with a man living across the road from where the woman was pouring gas into her car. The deputy noticed a clean square spot where something had obviously been sitting on the man's carport, and it reminded him of the shape of a gas can. He asked the man if he had a gas can, and when the man looked, he said he had one sitting in that spot, but now it was gone.

In the meantime, the woman had left the scene, but deputies chased after her. When confronted, she admitted to stealing the gas can and its contents. She was arrested and charged with theft by taking.

Left in the road

A man living on Orchard Lane reported to the NCSO that someone left a boat on the roadway near his residence over the July Fourth holiday. He said he didn't know who the boat belonged to, nor had he seen anyone near it since that time. Deputies checked and the boat was not listed as stolen, but could not find any contact information for the boat's owner. It was towed, and is now awaiting someone to claim it.

· Deputies found a Honda Civic blocking traffic on Mills Drive near Salem Road. Although it had not been reported stolen, deputies said a tire and wheel were missing, as well as the original seats, carpet, console, steering wheel and sound system. Temporary seats were in the vehicle, but not bolted down. It was also towed.

Family feud

A man called the NCSO and told them his brother stole his 1995 Ford Econoline van and that they should go arrest him because he had an outstanding warrant out of Lawrenceville. He told deputies where to find his brother.

When deputies confronted the brother, he said he and his brother and a friend were buying crack earlier in the evening on Ridge Avenue and he wrecked the van and left it where it sat. He was found to have an active warrant and was arrested because of that.

When pushed, the brother who called the NCSO admitted that his brother was telling the truth and he only called deputies because he wanted his brother arrested. He was arrested and charged with falsely reporting a crime.

· A man and his wife got into a physical altercation allegedly because she spent her $300 government rebate check on having her animals fixed and beer and tequila, according to a CPD incident report.

'Hey, that belongs to me'

A man flagged down an NCSO deputy and told him he was in pursuit of a man who stole his truck. He said he was at the lake when the truck was taken and after notifying authorities, he began driving around looking for the truck himself. He spotted it being driven by a white man as it was leaving Hammers on Ga. Highway 36. The deputy was able to stop the truck and take the suspect into custody.

· A pawn shop owner reported to the CPD that a dirt bike had been stolen from his business and he had received information that the bike was in the Green Acres neighborhood. The shop owner went to Green Acres, spotted the bike and called police.

When police arrived, a woman admitted that the neighborhood kids had found the bike in a shed belonging to her, but she denied any knowledge of the bike. About that time, they spotted a young boy riding the bike. They stopped him and he said he'd been riding it, but he didn't know whose it was or where it came from. He said he was only one of many in the neighborhood riding the bike, but he couldn't provide any names to the police.

It was determined that the bike was the property of the pawn shop owner and it was returned to him. No charges were brought against the juvenile.