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Armed robberies, burglaries plague city

Reports filed with the Hinesville Police Department recently include:

Dec. 16
• Shoplifting — HPD responded to a report of shoplifting at the Family Dollar store on E.G. Miles Parkway. The complainant said a woman was leaving the store when the front-door alarm was triggered. The woman told the complainant that her cellphone had triggered the alarm. The complainant then asked if she could hold the suspect’s cell phone, and the suspect agreed. The suspect then held the phone up to the sensors, which did not activate.
As the complainant was doing this, the suspect walked toward the back of the store and began dropping items from her person to the floor. She then fled the store and entered a vehicle. Another store employee tried to run after her in order to return her cellphone, but the suspect backed out erratically, almost hitting the employee. The suspect then drove recklessly through the parking lot and onto E.G. Miles Parkway.

Dec. 17
• Armed robbery — Officers responded to a report of armed robbery at the Flash Foods on West Oglethorpe Highway. An employee said she was mopping in the back of the store when a man wearing a black bandana over his face approached her, pointed a gun at her and demanded money. She said she complied, walking over to the register to open it. She said two other men waited by the front door, accomplices of the robber. After one suspect finished emptying the register, one of the other men walked to the register and grabbed a carton of cigarettes. All three suspects fled the store.

Dec. 18
• Armed robbery — Officers responded to a report of armed robbery at the Handyland Exxon on Highway 196. The store clerk said that she had been sitting behind the counter when two men walked in, one of whom pointed a gun at her. She said both men came behind the counter demanding money, and one of them grabbed her, jabbed his gun into her ribs and directed her toward the cash register. She said she opened the till and one subject started collecting the money. She then asked if they wanted the cash from a second drawer, and they said they wanted all of the money.
She opened the second till and the suspects collected the money from it. At that point, a third subject — also holding a gun — began pounding on the window from outside the store. The two suspects in the store then left. Approximately $683 was taken from the registers.
• Public intoxication/public indecency — HPD responded to a call on Pleasant Street. The complainant said a woman who lives in the same apartment complex had urinated in her garden, next to her porch. She said she and a friend were inside her apartment when the intoxicated woman started banging on her door, shouting that she wanted to use the bathroom.
The complainant said she locked the door and wouldn’t let her in. She said the woman then walked down the stairs to the garden and urinated. The officer made contact with the intoxicated woman’s husband and advised him to keep his wife away from the neighbor.
• Burglary, forced entry — HPD responded to a report of burglary at a West Oglethorpe Highway mobile home. The complainant stated she came home to find part of her front door bent back. When she entered the residence, she noticed only a laptop missing. However, after investigating further into the home when police arrived, the complainant found several other items missing from her bedroom closet and bathroom.
Officers investigating the door noticed it had been pulled back to expose the deadbolt. Outside, officers discovered two knives between the mobile homes, one of which was bent, as if it had been used to pry something open.

Dec. 19
• City-code violation, barking dogs — An officer responded to a Forest Street resident complaining about his neighbor’s barking dogs. The officer stated that the dogs were barking when he arrived on scene, for no apparent reason. He said he stood outside by his patrol car for over 10 minutes, and the dogs continuously barked. He then determined this was a violation of Hinesville city code. He attempted to contact someone in the residence where the barking was coming from, but no one was home. He stated he left a note and will conduct a follow-up investigation in regard to the city-code violation.
• Theft — HPD was dispatched to a business on Weeping Willow Way in response to the theft of two outdoor AC units. The units had been removed, with the copper piping that connects the units to the building still in place. No physical evidence or suspect information was found, and the case was forwarded to the detective’s division.
• Entering auto — Officers responded to the area of Waterfield Drive and Lyndsi Lane in reference to an entering-auto report. A witness said he observed someone going into vehicles along Amy Court, while another suspect appeared to serve as lookout. The witness said he contacted his neighbor, and the two approached the two suspects.
He said one suspect struck up small talk by asking for a light for his cigarette. The witness said he then asked the suspects about them entering the cars, and the two acted as if they had no idea what he was talking about. He said he then informed them that he had called the police, and the suspects then ran in different directions.

Dec. 20
• Theft — A man reported his daughter’s iPhone as stolen. He said he had taken his daughter to her band performance at Lewis Frasier Middle School on Dec. 18, and that she and her bandmates were instructed to leave their personal belongings in the band room during the concert. He said that when the concert was over, she went to retrieve her belongings along with the rest of the students, but all of her things were sitting outside her purse, except the phone. He said he used an app to try and track the phone and it pulled up an address, but he was unsuccessful in contacting anyone at the address.
• Burglary, forced entry — A postal carrier alerted HPD to a possible burglary at a Court Street residence. The complainant said he was dropping off a package when he noticed damage to the front-door jamb and the door open. Officers cleared the residence and made contact with the resident. He noted numerous items missing from his bedroom dresser, including his wedding ring.
• Burglary, forced entry — HPD was dispatched to a White Circle residence in response to a burglary, possibly in progress. A neighbor notified police that she noticed the one of the doors on the residence was open. She said she went over to the residence and discovered the side door unlocked. She then called police.
Officers cleared the residence, which was in disarray. Kitchen, dining-room and bedroom windows all were open. The resident was contacted via cellphone, and informed officers of high-value items that may have been targeted. He mentioned two flat-screen TVs and a laptop, all of which were missing. The resident stated that he had tried securing all the windows before leaving town, but a number of the windows’ latches were unable to lock.

Dec. 21
• Burglary — HPD responded to a burglary on Rebecca Street. The complainant said that the residence was secure when she left, but when she returned she noticed dirt on the floor leading from her back bedroom windoWest She believed the burglar removed the AC unit and entered the residence through it. She reported two cell phones and a laptop computer as missing.

Dec. 22
• Burglary, forced entry — While investigating a burglary on South Main Street, HPD officers were informed by another resident of the apartment complex that she heard a loud banging noise coming from a neighboring apartment. Officers went to investigate and discovered a shattered glass door as well as a rear door that was slightly open. While investigating, officers noticed several items scattered throughout the residence, and two gun cases in one of the bedrooms were empty.
Officers observed a vehicle parked directly in front of the residence and ran the plates to discover it belonged to the resident. The vehicle’s doors were unlocked, and the officers secured it. They made contact with the resident, who advised officers of several high-value items that should be in the apartment and said that they key to the vehicle should be on the kitchen table. Officers informed him of the burglary and, and he said he would return home as soon as possible.

Dec. 23
• Burglary, forced entry — Officers responded to a burglary at a South Main Street apartment. The complainant said that his residence was secure when he left for work, and that upon his return he found the front door kicked in and several items missing from the apartment.
• Felony shoplifting — Walmart loss-prevention personnel called HPD to apprehend two suspects caught shoplifting. The shoplifters had been observed placing food items in a purse, then walking around the store. Later, the two suspects placed a 60-inch TV on an L-cart and attempted to walk out through the general-merchandise door. Once loss-prevention employees approached the suspects to stop them, the suspects became hostile and attempted to flee the store forcefully. HPD detained the suspects and arrested them for felony shoplifting.

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