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ON THE BEAT: Scammer's computer bargain too good to be true

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.

Geeks bearing gifts

An off-duty Covington firefighter was approached in a service station parking lot about a bargain too good to be true, and, of course, it was. A man offered to sell him two notebook computers for $400.

The firefighter contacted the Covington Police Department and a sting was set up to scam the scammer. The firefighter told the man he was interested in purchasing the computers. The man went away and showed back up with one box presumably containing one computer, and told the firefighter to open his trunk so he could toss it in. The firefighter refused to open his trunk and asked about the second computer. The man withdrew to consider his conundrum, as obviously he had only prepared one box.

He got into a car with some other folks and a traffic stop was made. When questioned, the man continued to maintain to the officer that he had the computers to sell and asserted repeatedly that the merchandise was not stolen. The officer observed that the package the man had told the firefighter contained a computer was suspicious and when opened, his suspicions were confirmed. The FedEx mailing box actually contained phone books and newspaper, hardly a bargain at any price. The entrepreneur was arrested.

Do what?

A woman notified the Newton County Sheriff's Office that someone had stolen the gas line that was just installed in the ground in her back yard. She said she suspects a family member.

Pat Boone?

A woman reported to the NCSO that her home had been burglarized. Items taken included $3,500 in diamond rings, $700 in cash and a pair of men's white dress shoes.

Religious fervor

A man living in a group home reported another resident threw a Bible at him and then attacked him and broke his arm after the two got into an argument about the word "the" in the Bible. The Bible-thrower was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

• A young man who apparently was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and may have mental problems was arrested after attacking his parents and damaging property. He was charged with family violence battery and criminal trespass, but on his way to jail he sang "Amazing Grace" to the arresting officer. He told the officer that song was going to be a hit off his first album.

Christmas bargains

You, too, can afford to drive a luxury car if you steal your Christmas gifts. A man described as 6 feet, 6 inches tall and wearing a leather jacket was seen stuffing assorted clothing items into his clothing at Wal-Mart. When confronted, he removed clothing items from his jacket, pants and shirt and then threatened the store security officer with a knife as he left the store with additional clothing still concealed in his clothing. He fled from the parking lot in a black Lexus. Recovered merchandise included six pairs of jeans, two skirts, five shirts and a pair of shorts.

• The manager of an independent living retirement center told CPD officers a black man wearing a blue and green rugby-style shirt walked into the lobby of the building and took a mirror from the wall. It was valued at $200 and video surveillance made it possible for officers to see the crime take place.

• A woman purchased five items from Kmart's home decor aisle, but on her way out of the store stopped at the Christmas decorations where she took $135.10 worth of items she didn't pay for.

Welcome south, brother

A man who used profanity and could not stop screaming in front of children in the Wal-Mart parking lot was eventually arrested after CPD officers tried numerous times to get him to shut up and go away. "I know why this is happening. It's because I am from New Jersey," the man screamed at officers. Several witnesses said he was using foul language and screaming and refused to stop when asked.

Grinch alert

A man called the NCSO to report someone had "sliced" an inflatable Christmas penguin in his front yard.

Repeat offender

A man reported to the NCSO that someone had stolen flower vases five times from his grandmother's grave at Lawnwood Memorial Park.

An old favorite

A woman called the CPD to report that her queen-sized, mauve, light blue and white comforter was stolen from a washing machine at the coin laundry. The comforter was five years old and valued at $75.

A true emergency

A woman ran a red light at an intersection, almost hitting an NCSO deputy. He pulled in behind the car and stopped it. The woman driving told the deputy, "I know I made a mistake. I was talking on the telephone. My sister is having a baby." Turns out she was driving on a suspended license. She received a citation for running the red light and the suspended license.

Camping woes

A man notified the NCSO that someone came into his front yard and took his six-man tent.

Drinking woes

A man notified the NCSO that his home had been burglarized. Taken was $40 worth of Jim Beam alcohol and $10 worth of Canadian Mist.

Mr. Clean

A man was arrested for shoplifting at Kroger on Ga. Highway 20 South after employees witnessed him leaving the store with a loaded cart of merchandise he didn't pay for. In the cart was Tide laundry soap worth $48; Febreze worth $23; bleach worth $23; Downey fabric softener worth $23; Gain liquid soap worth $38; Gain laundry detergent worth $20; Bounty paper towels worth $15; and Charmin Ultra bathroom tissue worth $18.

Big ole jar

A man called the NCSO to say an unknown person entered his bedroom and took a glass jar of quarters. He estimated there was $2,000 worth of quarters in the jar.

Male harassment

A man called the NCSO to say he and his girlfriend had broken up the day before because she thought he was only using her for a sex object. Since that time, he has been receiving harassing text messages from her and her friends.