Crime Report: Shoplifting, Identity Theft and More
The following information was gathered from Oconee County Sheriff's Office reports and highlights incidents reported July 3 - 8.
Shopper Leaves Store Without Paying for Groceries: On July 8 around noon, an employee of Kroger reported someone placed salad, sugar, potatoes, fabric softener and other items into a shopping cart and left the store without paying. When confronted by the employee in the parking lot, the individual reportedly could not provide a receipt for the items. The items were turned back over to the store and the individual left in a vehicle before deputies arrived.
Criminal Trespass: Deputies were called to an 1100-block Creek Farm Run property on July 8 around 1:30 p.m. where someone had "set off two chemical bombs in the front yard and then left the area" and then left in a 90s model grey Toyota Sedan, according to an incident report. No property was damaged.
Cash Taken: A woman reported she parked by the gas pumps at QuikTrip around 11 p.m. on July 7 and went inside the store. When she came out, the two other occupants who had been inside the car had left on foot after she says they removed about $500 cash from the vehicle.
Underage Consumption: Deputies responded to a report of a fight in the 3600 block of New High Shoals Road on July 7 just before 1 a.m. A witness said individuals weren't fighting; they were trying to keep a 19-year-old Watkinsville man from "hurting himself" and running into the road. When questioned, the man told deputies "he wanted to 'plead the fifth.'" He pulled out his wallet to show his ID, along with a small bag of suspected marijuana, according to the deputy's report. The man was arrested and charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and underage possession of alcohol.
Shoplifting Arrest: Walmart loss prevention officers called deputies on July 6 around 5:45 p.m. to report a shoplifting incident. A woman reportedly "had taken possession of goods belonging to Walmart with the intent of appropriating the merchandise to her own use without paying for the same." The 26-year-old Commerce woman was arrested and charged with misdemeanor theft by shoplifting. The items were valued at $427.
Check Fraud: An Oconee woman reported on July 6 that someone had written a check on her bank account for $447.34 on June 22 that cleared the bank on July 5.
Marijuana Found During Traffic Stop: On July 6 around 1:30 a.m., a deputy pulled over the driver of a vehicle without a tag light on US Highway 78 eastbound near Clarke County. The deputy reported being "overwhelmed with the strong pungent odor of green marijuana." The driver told the deputy he had been around people who had smoked the drug, but the deputy said because of the strong smell he was going to search the vehicle. The driver then told the deputy there maybe a small amount of marijuana inside. The deputy reportedly found "three small baggies of a green leafy substance suspected to be marijuana" and the driver, a 31-year-old Decatur man, was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and a tag light violation.
Wallet Taken From Truck: An Oconee man reported on July 6 someone had taken his wallet from the center console of his truck, which had been left unlocked while parked at Walmart and also while at his 1100-block Dials Plantation Drive residence. The man discovered the theft after seeing a fraudulent charge post to his bank account. Inside the wallet were numerous credit cards and a social security card.
"Substantial Damage" to Home: Deputies were called to a Pine Valley Drive residence on July 5. The complainant said someone drove a vehicle or large object into the side of the home sometime between 6:30 a.m. on July 3 and 5 a.m. on July, "causing substantial damage."
Possession/Use of ID without Consent: Deputies reported finding checks and a driver's license in someone else's name in the possession of an Athens woman on July 4 around 2 p.m. Two other women had called to report several checks had been stolen by someone they knew and deputies pulled over the suspect in the area of Racetrac. Mary Elizabeth Evans, 36, of Athens, was charged with possession/use of identification document.
Counterfeit Bill: An employee of QuikTrip reported a customer attempted to pay for gas with a $20 bill, but when checked with a counterfeit pen, it turned dark. The deputy marked it and compared it to another $20 and noticed the embedded security strip was missing. The customer said she had received it from a bank after having cashed a check. The bill was turned over to authorities and the woman said she would contact her bank.
Deputies Assist ACCPD with Chase: See Police Pursuit Has Ended in Crash and Crime Blotter--officer assaulted, taffic fatality, burglaries on Athens Patch for more information.
Guitar Missing: On July 3, a resident of a 1300-block Ashland Drive address reported someone had entered the residence and taken an acoustic guitar, valued at $100, from the garage area. The theft occurred sometime between March 10 and July 3, 2012.
Identity Theft: An Oconee man reported when he filed his tax return for 2012, the Georgia Department of Revenue advised him a return had already been issued using his social security number and information.
See Oconee Patch Crime Reporting Policies.