Crime Report: Fights, Threats, and Counterfeit Bills
The following information was gathered from Oconee County Sheriff's Office reports and highlights incidents reported between March 1-4.
Kids Cut Trees: On March 4, deputies met with complainants at a 1000-block residence of Hancock Court. The victims said three juvenile boys ages 5-11 were on the property that morning and cut down 11 trees.
Shoplifting Attempt: An older white male about 6'2" and 260 pounds with long gray hair and a beard attempted to steal two bottles of Choco Vine Espresso Wine after first paying for other items, an employee of Bell's Grocery Store told deputies on March 4. A customer in line behind the man notified the cashier the bottles were hidden under the man's clothing. The cashier confronted the man in the parking lot and he reportedly handed over the bottles, worth $9.99 a piece, and left in a white Nissan pickup truck.
Wallet Taken At the Track: A woman reported her wallet was taken from inside her purse while at Athens Academy for a track and field meet on March 3. She told deputies she left her chair for only a few moments, but when she returned she realized someone had taken the wallet containing her license, checkbook, ATM cards and other identifications. The area was checked and an announcement was made over the speaker system, but it was not returned.
Threats By Email: An Oconee County man reported his girlfriend's son, who lives in California, has been sending threatening emails to him because he is a witness in a child custody case. The victim said he wanted the incidents documented so that he can pursue a temporary protective order.
Shoplifting: Wal-Mart loss prevention officers reported that on March 2, an Athens man attempted to grab a Dyson vacuum cleaner and leave without paying. Darrell Louis Atkins, 48, was charged with felony theft by shoplifting.
Harassing Texts: An Oconee woman reported on March 2 her ex-husband had been sending her disturbing text messages. She was advised of the process to seek a temporary protective order.
Fight: A deputy in his patrol car near Great Clips on Epps Bridge Parkway with an arrestee from a separate incident in the backseat was approached by an employee of the hair salon around 11:15 a.m. on March 2. The woman said there was a fight inside.
When the deputy went inside, he saw a woman was being restrained by two others to prevent her from attacking the manager. All were employees. The manager told the deputy she had been in a conference with the employee in the back and talking about the her attitude when the employee became irate and grabbed the manager's hair and struck her in the head.
The 48-year-old Cumming woman was charged with simple battery.
Threats: An Oconee County woman reported her husband, from whom she is currently separated, came to her home on Arrowhead Road on March 1 and threatened her. She said witnesses told her they saw him hit her vehicle and then leave. The following day she found damage to the car's passenger side.
Identity Theft: The owner of a lawn service company reported fraudulent charges posted to his business' bank account. The victim said he contacted the billing company and was provided the name of a possible suspect. The billing company reportedly told the man there were another $1,500 worth of pending transactions that the company would cancel. The case was turned over to investigators.
Fight at School: Deputies were dispatched to Oconee County High School on March 2 in reference to a fight that had occurred that morning in the commons area. According to video surveillance, one teenage boy walked up to another and hit him in the face. The principal opted to press charges against the student found to be responsible for initiating the fight. The 17-year-old Watkinsville man was charged with battery.
Counterfeit Bills: Staff at Porterfield Tire reported two counterfeit $50 bills were used by a customer to pay for service sometime during the last week. The discovery was made when an employee made a bank deposit and the bank informed him a bill wasn't real. The second counterfeit bill was found in the case box at the shop.
Criminal Trespass: A mother reported her adult son, who has a history of mental problems and medication issues, was acting out violently at her Nona Drive residence and she and her husband were afraid for their safety. The 35-year-old man was charged with criminal trespass.
Theft: Sometime between September 19, 2011 and March 1, 2012 a metal lock box containing passports and birth certificates was taken from a 1000-block residence of Ramser Drive.
Laptop Taken: A man reported his laptop computer was taken from his unlocked vehicle while parked at the Gainesville State College campus on March 1 about 6:15 p.m.
Fraud: A Bartow County man reported fraudulent checks in his name totaling $320 had been passed at Wal-Mart. The checks were passed through his bank account Feb 25-28. The check numbers had been duplicated from the man's old checks. The victim also filed a report of identity theft in his home county.
Suspicious Bottles: Bottles found on Terrapin Court were determined to contain drain cleaner and aluminum foil. Deputies opened the bottles to ventilate the gas inside and they later disposed of them.
Criminal Trespass: An Oconee County woman reported on March 1 someone unknown to her has been sneaking into her mobile home on Cemetery Road and staying there for short periods of time. The victim said she has noticed items missing and, after talking about them inside her home, the items reappear. The case is under investigation.
Aggravated Stalking: Deputies arrested a Hull man after responding to a domestic dispute on March 1 about noon. The man was found near the railroad tracks close to Station Drive.
The man's ex-wife told deputies he came to her home on Willowynd Way, struck her on the side of the face during an argument, broke a digital camera worth more than $500, and fled into the woods. The victim had a visible mark on her face, the deputy noted in the report. The man said his ex-wife had hit him and that's why he left. The deputy wrote the man," showed no sign that he had been in a physical altercation, but his legs were covered in small scratches and bleeding," which he says the man told him happened when he was running through the woods.
Deputies learned there was an active temporary protective order prohibiting the man from being around his ex-wife.
Chris J. Benoit, 30, was charged with aggravated stalking, battery, and criminal damage to property.
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