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On the Beat: Newton deputies nab shoplifters

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.

Back to school means shopping for some and shoplifting for others. Here's just a sample of those who apparently didn't think they should be required to actually spend money on life's little necessities:

· A woman at the Dollar General Store on Ga. Highway 36 was spotted placing packages of razors inside her diaper bag. She was asked to wait in the back room for Newton County Sheriff's Office deputies to arrive. They dumped out everything in the diaper bag and it seems razors were the tip of the iceberg. The bag contained numerous items with Dollar General price tags including toddler boys shirts and shorts outfits; boys T-shirts; infant girl's clothing; men's T-shirts, personal hygiene products; and assorted over-the-counter medications, totaling $106.85.

The woman was crying and said she didn't think it was "fair" for her to go to jail by herself as the person with her told her to take the items. The deputies spoke to that woman who said she didn't know anything about anything.

The woman went to jail by herself.

· Covington Police were summoned to Wal-Mart after a loss prevention officer observed a woman selecting women's clothing and placing it into a pink and white bag. The woman had three children with her at the time she was stealing $87.26 worth of clothing.

· Covington PD was dispatched to K-Mart where a woman was seen concealing items in her oversized pocketbook. There were 15 items inside valued at $99.15.

· A Wal-Mart loss prevention officer called the CPD after observing a woman placing several items from the cosmetics section into her purse. The woman asked the officer, "This is the first time I've ever done anything like this. Can't you just cut me a break?" The officer said no-can-do and it was determined she had taken a Cover Girl Fantastic Make-up Kit valued at $6.12; a Maybeline lipstick valued at $5.50; another lipstick valued at $5.28; a pack of black elastic hair bands valued at $2.50; and some Cover Girl Cheek Make-up valued at $6.67. The total theft amounted to $50.99.

· Another woman at Wal-Mart was observed placing items into her large green and blue bag. When officers confronted her she admitted, "I stole a bunch of stuff." The items were an assortment of clothing valued at $78.

· Likewise another woman who was observed shoplifting at Wal-Mart told officers, "I'm guilty. I stole a bunch of stuff. I'm guilty." No dollar amount was given of the items she stuffed in her black purse.

· The Shoe Dept. notified the CPD a woman stole a pair of Nike tennis shoes and left the store in a Dodge Durango.

Employees at the shoe store said the woman was in the store with a companion and asked to see both shoes as only one was in the box. The clerk got it for her and went to wait on another customer. Meanwhile the woman left the store, leaving her friend inside. A little later she came back in and the clerk asked if she was going to buy the shoes. She said no, because they were dirty. The clerk checked and couldn't locate the shoes and asked the woman where they were. She said she left them on the floor. While this conversation was taking place, the woman was at the cash register paying for another item. She then said, "Give me my damn money back," and indicated she no longer wanted the item she purchased. She got her refund and left.

Then the CPD arrived at the scene an officer spotted the car across the parking lot at the Kroger gas pumps and noticed the driver putting something in the backseat. Looking inside the car, the officer spotted a partially zipped pocketbook with a pair of white Nikes valued at $29.98 inside. The woman went to jail.

· A loss prevention officer at Wal-Mart followed a woman into the parking lot after one of the store's greeters told him the supposed-customer would not let him look inside a tote in her shopping cart. When the loss prevention officer approached her, she told him he did not have the right to look inside her tote and when he took issue with that and began to open it she closed the top on the back of his hand and threatened to shoot him.

Apparently leaving him in the parking lot with the tote, she got into a gold Toyota driven by another woman and left.

The tote contained $384.44 in merchandise, most of which appeared to be school supplies for young children. They're still looking for her.