Woman says burglar attempted to set fire to her home

CONYERS — A woman who was in the process of moving out of her duplex because of the amount of crime in the area reported to a sheriff’s deputy that her home had been burglarized and that it appeared the suspect tried to set it on fire.

The victim said she returned to her home on Salem Woods Drive on Thursday after being away for the night. She told the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office deputy that it appeared the suspect came through the front door because she did not deadbolt that door.

“The refrigerator was moved up to the stove in the kitchen (and) there was a half-burned pillow on the kitchen floor,” Deputy Donald Clayton Patrick Sims reported. “It looked as if the suspect placed the pillow on the eye of the stove and turned it on in an attempt to burn down the residence.”

The victim said that all the windows on the top floor of the residence were open and a message was written on the upstairs bathroom mirror in yellow crayon, the report states.

“(The victim) stated that they have been in the process of moving out because of multiple burglaries. She stated that she showed up (on Thursday) to get the last bit of things from the residence,” according to the incident report.

Crime scene investigators came to the home and attempted to get fingerprints. They also located a Newton County tag on the ground, as well as a blue and white Mongoose bike behind the residence that the victim said did not belong to her.

This is not the first incident to occur at this residence.

In November, a man went to the home to purchase a dirt bike. When he arrived, he was met by 17-year-old Joshuah Stephens and his cousin, Terry Austin Stephens, 20, both of 5372 Ga. Highway 212, Covington, who asked to see the money to purchase the dirt bike. At some point, the two men began to fight with the victim. One of the men then pulled out a knife and the other a baseball bat to rob the victim of the cash, authorities reported.

After the robbery, the suspects fled the scene.

Deputies returned to the home where the armed robbery occurred to see if the men had come back. The woman who answered the door allegedly said the suspects did not live there but said deputies could search the home.

“Once inside, deputies and investigators found one suspect attempting to gain entry into the attic and heard the other suspect on the roof,” according to the RCSO. “When they went back outside to try and make contact, the suspect on the roof leapt off and tried to run from deputies, but was quickly apprehended.”

The two men were charged with armed robbery. The woman who answered the door, 20-year-old Cheyenne Daniel Hammonds, was arrested and charged with willful obstruction of law enforcement officers.