Thieves cut two holes into store
Cash, cigarettes stolen

COVINGTON - The Brown Bridge Shell Oil convenience store was burglarized Jan. 15 after thieves apparently entered the store from a hole they had cut through the outside wall, according to the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

An incident report states that persons unknown cut two holes in the back wall of the store, removing the utility box, which was found tossed in the woods behind the location, along with metal strips from the wall.

Officers also found a set of keys and a computer from the store's office discarded in the wooded area.

The owner reported that $2,500 in cash was missing from the register, as well as cigarettes.

In other crime news, the Covington Police Department reports that a burglary occurred at Indian Creek Golf Course sometime between the night of Jan. 17 and the morning of Jan. 18.

A screen was removed from the course's cart barn and a green EZ-GO golf cart was taken along with a charger. Also, three golf bags were stolen from a storage room, as well as a fourth golf bag that was on a golf cart.

The golf cart was valued at approximately $7,000 and each of the golf bags and equipment were estimated to be worth $1,500 each.

An NCSO deputy observed a truck with an ATV on the back and noted that the men inside the vehicle were acting suspiciously. When he ran the tag on the NCIC computer system, it was discovered the truck was stolen in Rockdale County.

The deputy attempted a traffic stop near the intersection of Ga. Highway 142 and U.S. Highway 278, but the driver refused to stop, continuing onto Hazelbrand Road.

"Numerous times the driver was operating the vehicle on the wrong side of the roadway," the report states. "The vehicle ran a three-way stop at Hazelbrand and Jenkins. At Meadows Road, the driver lost control in an attempt to make a right turn onto Meadows Road. (The) vehicle went off the roadway into the ditch causing damage to the left front tire."

Further, when the car abruptly stopped after going into the ditch, the ATV rolled forward, knocking out the rear window of the truck and damaging the cab and bed of the truck.

The driver, described as a white man of dark complexion, tall with a slender build, wearing dark pants and a dark top, took off on foot. Two other occupants of the vehicle were taken into custody.

Leita Whitaker, 29, and John Kendrick, 39, both of 375 Paul Smith Road were charged with theft by receiving stolen property. Kendrick was also charged with a probation violation.

The NCSO is still searching for the driver of the vehicle.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.