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Missing phone leads to owner's arrest

Complainant police gave wrong name

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POSTED: April 18, 2014 10:08 a.m.

An April 7 incident put in motion by a missing cellphone report ended with the phone’s owner, a Macon woman, being arrested in Hinesville for obstruction of justice.
According to Hinesville Police Department Officer Gail Poulsen’s report, she and Officer Scott Hensler responded to Angela Denise Collins’ complaint that her cellphone had been stolen. Collins, 34, told the officers she had been staying in a Savannah hotel, but came to Hinesville in a taxi to visit a man she met through an online video-chat service.  
Collins said she accidentally left her cellphone in the cab. When she told her male friend what happened, he called the cab company and made arrangements to have the phone dropped off later at a convenience store on East Oglethorpe Highway.
Sometime during the evening, Collins and the male friend got into an altercation. She left the man’s home and took another cab to the location where her phone supposedly had been dropped off, according to Poulsen’s report.
Upon arrival, though, the convenience-store clerk told the woman that her male friend already had picked up her phone. Shortly thereafter, the woman spotted the man walking on East Oglethorpe Highway, but he saw her and ran.
Collins and the cab driver who had taken her to pick up her phone returned to the convenience store and called police. When responding officers asked Collins for identification, she told them she had forgotten her ID at the hotel where she was staying. Poulsen ran a Georgia Crime Information Center check on Collins and found she was wanted in Bibb County for property damage. However, the photo the search turned up did not look like Collins.  
When Poulsen advised Collins there was a warrant out for her arrest, she confessed she had given the officers her sister’s name because she was on probation in Bibb County and assumed she’d be in trouble for leaving that area. After giving the police her real name, Shanita Sherrelle Branch, she was arrested for obstruction of justice.
Branch was booked, given a $546 bond and released on her own recognizance.
Hensler went to the male friend’s residence, recovered Branch’s $60 cellphone and returned it to her.
She was given court date for later this month.


 

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