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Attempt to fleece a scammer backfires
Hinesville PD blotter for June 20

Recent reports filed with the Hinesville Police Department include:

June 13

Harassing communications — A friendship between two women soured when one’s boyfriend started seeing the other one. One of the women alleged the other was trying to humiliate her with a sexually explicit ad on Craigslist. Saying the subject of the ad wanted to be mistreated and humiliated, the ad asked for photos and calls, she reported. She said she believed the other woman had placed the ad. She also said she had to change her phone number to stop getting photos and calls in response to the ad. Shortly after the victim gave her story at the police station, the alleged perpetrator walked in, saying she wanted to make a report against the other woman, saying she had made numerous harassing calls to her in the past week. She said she believed the calls started because the other woman’s ex-boyfriend was now with her. She denied knowing anything about the Craigslist ad.

Burglary, forced entry — A Brantley Street resident said she went to wash clothes about 5 p.m. and was sure all windows and doors had been secured. When she got home, she saw one window partially open and called police. The window had been nailed shut and the officer saw the nails in the sidetrack of the open window had been bent back. Missing were five lightbulbs (all that had been in the house), a hammer and a box of nails.

DUI, public drunkenness — A Tray Court resident said he answered a knock on his door about 10:30 p.m. to find a woman talking incoherently to him. She eventually walked into his yard, pulled down her pants and urinated in his yard. When she got into a car, he went out to get information, so he could report her as a drunk driver. Outside he saw there was another driver, who accelerated toward him. The complainant said he jumped onto the car’s hood so he wouldn’t be hit. The car drove with the man clinging to the hood until the woman yelled for the driver to stop. The woman walked off. The complainant got down and saw the driver empty a couple of beer cans before driving off. While the complainant was talking to the officer, the driver and woman returned. The driver said he had just given the woman a ride and that he did not know she was going to do what she did. The woman said she went to the complainant’s home because she confused the address with someone she knew. The officer suspected they were drunk and processed him for DUI and her for public drunkenness.

June 11

Counterfeiting free text, gambling free text -- An officer was called to an E.G. Miles convenience store after a man tried to pay for goods with a $20 bill that turned out to be fake. The man told the officer he had been gambling after clubs closed earlier that morning. He couldn’t remember any names "other than a guy named ‘J’." When the bill he gave the clerk turned out fake, he had her check all his bills and six $20 looked fake. The man showed all his money to the officer, who noted all of it was in $20 bills and implied skepticism in his report because there were no bills of other denominations. The report also implied skepticism about the man’s claim he didn’t know his gambling partners, when he said he would take care of the problem later. The officer confiscated the fake bills and informed the man and store clerks how the investigation would proceed. ("Free text" is a legal term meaning the officer using his own words to describe an offense.)

June 10

Attempted armed robbery — A Highway 84 Pizza Hut employee told an officer she was outside talking on her cellphone after unlocking the doors to the business about 8 a.m. She saw a clean-shaven black man, but with a mustache and chubby cheeks, running toward her. She relocked the door. He was wearing a black skullcap, black T-shirt and black pants. He appeared to be in his early 30s. At first, he said he was running because he thought someone was chasing him. When he got close, however, he raised his shirt to show a silver gun. He said, "I want all the money out of the safe." Once inside, an alarm went off as they approached the counter. The robber ran off.

Begging, obstruction — A complaint about a beggar outside a Gen. Screven Way convenience store sent an officer there. He watched her for a time, but couldn’t hear what she was saying to people going in and out of the store. When he approached her, she gave false information about her identity, but it was close enough so that a similar person, who is wanted in New Mexico, was flagged. When the officer told her, she changed her birthdate, but recanted when the officer got a photo through the crime information network. She was cited for obstructing the officer and violating the city’s code against begging.

Suspicious acts, possession of marijuana — A routine drug bust became more interesting when one of the suspects told officers where he had gotten some counterfeit bills. An officer approached an SUV parked in an empty lot on Mill Creek Circle. The smell and a cloud of smoke led to the drug investigation, which turned up four fake $50 bills in one of the suspect’s wallets. The suspect told officers, "Someone from school was passing them around," but could not provide a name. Two people were charged for marijuana.

June 9

Fraud — A woman’s attempt to out-fox a scammer did not work. She went to HPD and told an officer a man with "an Indian accent" had called to tell her he was going to pull funds from her bank account. She said she ignored the calls, but that somehow he had had gotten into her account, which now had a $5,000 deficit. After talking to the officer and a representative of her bank, however, the victim admitted she had let the caller deposit a check into her checking account. When he asked for access to change the PIN, she moved the money to another account. She refused to give the caller any money, but went on a shopping spree, spending more than $3,000 on her debit card. It turns out her original account is now $5,000 overdrawn because the check the caller deposited didn’t clear.

DFCS referral – Employees at Liberty Regional Medical Center told an officer that a mother had brought her 1-year-old daughter to the ER because of a 104 degree fever. After some treatment the mother was told more than once not to leave for a least 15 minutes so the child could be monitored for reactions. However, she left with the child. She came back as the officer was taking statements from the employees. The report is unclear how long she was gone, since it gives a time earlier than when the child was treated. But, the mother told the officer she had just gone to her car to get her cellphone. She had the child and her phone with her, the officer noted. She signed paperwork and the child was released. DFCS was informed.

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