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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
A mother called the Newton County Sheriff's Office to report that her daughter would not do what she told her to do until deputies arrived. She said the child had asked to go outside, she told her no, but then she went to a house down the street and sat in the garage there. A deputy went and told the child to go home.
Looking for dust bunnies?
A woman called the Covington Police Department to report that when she and her son came home from the hospital, they found their neighbor hiding under the bed. The neighbor said the woman's husband had asked him to come to the house to "remove some things within the home." The husband denied having said that. In trying to get to the bottom of the matter, police officers spoke with another individual at the suspect's home and he straightened things out for them. He said he did not go into the house, but was acting as a lookout for the suspect. The suspect went to jail. The woman said the only thing she was missing was a couple packs of cigarettes.
Theft of services
A motel manager notified the CPD that a guest had recently left without paying for his room. Two days' stay amounted to $112. The guest also burned holes in the hotel's blanket and the manager said he would be taking a warrant out and charging $100 for the blanket.
A soldier who was traveling to Tennessee from Fort Gordon notified the CPD that two bags containing 10 military uniforms, a laptop computer and two hard drives were stolen from the back of his pickup while he was parked in the Wal-Mart parking lot. He had traveled a good distance up Intersatate 20 before he made the discovery. The strange thing about it was that another bag had been left in their place. The soldier was able to contact the individual whose bag was left in the back of his truck and traveled back to Covington to return that person's bag to the CPD. It was later returned to the owner. No word on the soldier's bags.
Moms shoving match
Two women got into a shoving match at a baseball game at City Pond Park after one of the women accused the other's son of scratching her son's back. The husband of one of the women got between the women and broke up the fight. He left the park, taking his wife with him, before the CPD arrived. The other woman was advised of the warrant process.
Comedy of errors
CPD officers were summoned to The Shoe Depot in Newton Plaza in reference to a shoplifting complaint. When they arrived, the suspect was in the store trying to convince the manager to take the shoes back. He admitted taking them, but said, "It was a stupid mistake and that he wished to be warned and not go to jail," the incident report stated. He didn't get his wish.
· CPD officers went to Kay Jewelers in reference to a previous shoplifting call as the suspect had apparently returned to the store. The police officer asked the woman about the necklace she was accused of stealing and she admitted she "accidentally" walked out with the necklace without realizing it. She said she wanted to return it and the necklace was even as they spoke in her car parked at Wal-Mart. Officers went to Wal-Mart after she gave consent to search her vehicle and they weren't able to turn up the necklace, but they did find a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
The woman explained none of that belonged to her, but belonged to the man accompanying her. She also said the necklace must be at her home in another county. Both parties went to jail.
Striking it rich
A man called the NCSO to his home to report there was a man sitting in the middle of the South River taking things that didn't belong to him. He said a friend asked the man what he was doing and the man advised he was collecting gold flecks from the river. The man wanted it documented that the subject was on his property panning for gold.
A man notified the NCSO that while he was eating breakfast at Mamie's Kitchen, someone apparently came to his home and stole $1,000 cash from his briefcase. He said both the house and the briefcase were unlocked. There was a total of $2,100 cash in an envelope in the briefcase, but only $1,000 was missing.
An employee of Kroger on U.S. Highway 278 was arrested after management discovered she was responsible for approximately $2,558.60 worth of gift cards being shoplifted from the store. Apparently the woman would allow her friends to come through the self-checkout while she was working and scan the $100 Visa gift cards without collecting payment. It was all on store video surveillance.
The NCSO was summoned to a restaurant parking lot on Flat Shoals Road after an unconscious woman was observed lying on her back next to her vehicle. She was pronounced drunk.
A car rental company notified the CPD on May 29 that a customer was to have returned a black Kia Rondo on April 15, but it had not shown up yet. When the company contacted her, she told them it was stolen, but she did not report the theft to the police. The company suspects the vehicle, valued at $13,691, was indeed stolen.
Just borrowing it
Employees with the Covington Kroger notified the CPD that two women were astride the store's motorized wheelchair about 7:45 p.m. and were headed in the direction of the Housing Authority on Alcovy Road. When police caught up with the two, they explained they had used the wheelchair while at Kroger and were taking it back to their apartment where they would recharge it and ride it back to the store later. One of the women went on to explain that she needed the wheelchair because of a medical condition which kept her from walking easily and she didn't have a car. Officers explained that her infirmity did not give her the right to take store property.
Kroger management didn't want to press charges since the wheelchair was recovered, but asked that the two be banned from the store.
An employee with Dollar General on U.S. 278 notified the CPD that a woman had entered the store with a "flat, empty purse," but when she came to the register after shopping around, the purse was full. When the employee asked the woman to unzip her purse, the woman ran back into the store and began pulling items from her purse and placing them back on the shelves. Included in the on-again/off-again shoplifting were three sets of girls clothes, a pack of boys T-shirts, eye serum, contact solution, toothbrush heads and Tootsie Pops.
The woman denied the whole incident, but the officer arrested her. In searching her purse after she was arrested, the officer found a jar of Oil of Olay night cream which the woman maintained she had bought at Wal-Mart the week before. However, once the officer told her he was going to watch store video tape of the entire incident, she confessed to taking everything, including the night cream.
All the wrong 'moves'
The president of a homeowners' association at an area subdivision notified the NCSO that he had witnessed a suspicious young man in front of the development's clubhouse and had later discovered a broken window there. Deputies located the young man and when asked if he had broken out the window he didn't immediately answer. The deputies told him he should be honest, and if he had had an accident, he should just say so. Reluctantly the youngster said, "I did it." They asked what happened and the boy told them, "I was practicing my moves," and began laughing. At which point the deputies asked if he thought the situation was funny and he said, "Yes," and continued smiling ... all the way to jail.
A woman called the CPD to report that someone had taken various containers and banks from her home, all loaded with cash. Included were two plastic cups which contained $200 worth of state quarters and nickels, a piggy bank, a brown container bank and a plastic bag, all with an unknown amount of money in them.
A woman called the NCSO to say she saw the children across the street throwing eggs at her home. When deputies asked the youngsters about this they said, "Gee, somebody threw eggs at our house, too."
An NCSO deputy stopped a vehicle around the end of May for having no tag. After talking to the driver, the deputy realized he had stopped the same car once before for the same offense. The driver told the deputy the car belonged to his mother and she had just purchased it, hence no tag. On the previous stop back in April, the man had said he had just purchased the vehicle from the registered owner, a man who lived with him and his mother.
NCSO deputies are looking for a vehicle with tires. A woman called them to say an unknown suspect drove a vehicle into her yard, leaving tire tracks and damaging her grass.
· A woman reported to the NCSO that her husband had called her to say someone had painted their front and side yards. She passed the information along to deputies who went to the house and found the black marks were not paint, but some sort of powder substance. Deputies noticed similar markings at nearby lawns, as well.
An auto repair shop reported that an ex-employee took several company uniforms with him when he left. They were valued at $600.