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Burglar chased off by service dog
Hinesville Police blotters

Reports recently filed with the Hinesville Police Department include:

March 6
Fleeing or attempting to elude and failure to use headlights — A suspected flasher was arrested, but not for that which he was suspected. It started when an officer was patrolling Olgethorpe Highway about 1:20 a.m. and spotted a man who fit the description of someone who been exposing his genitals to clerks at a Flash Foods convenience store. The store also was on heightened alert because of an armed robber a few months back. The officer radioed dispatch to call the store to alert clerks. The officer turned back and saw the suspect again near a privacy fence, but reported that the suspect apparently ran off when the officer pulled into the parking lot. The officer alerted other officers and a few minutes later one of them spotted a vehicle racing away from Cherokee Circle near the convenience store. Soon, a third officer on Main Street saw the car was speeding and didn’t have its lights on. So the third officer tried to stop the car, but it wouldn’t stop and was going about 65 mph by the time they were in Walthourville. Finally, the car did stop in a driveway near Sabrina Circle, and the driver was arrested on the traffic charges. He told the first officer he had been lurking around the convenience store’s privacy fence because he was looking for a lost lighter, and that he left the area because he didn’t know the officer wanted to talk to him.

March 5
Theft by deception — A local resident walked into the station to report she had tried to buy a 2002 Dodge Ram pickup advertised on Amazon. She even sent a $1,400 Moneygram to an APO address in Portugal for the alleged military member who was deployed. The truck was supposed to be in Illinois. The victim, however, became suspicious when an “Amazon payments agent,” called, asking for another $300 for insurance. So she contacted Amazon and was told the company does not deal with wire transfers and has no employees with that description. Moneygram advised the money to Portugal already had been picked up. So she contacted police, who gave her a case number and advised her on what may happen next.

Theft by taking — The theft of a cellphone from a Highway 84 Clyde’s Market was caught on video, so authorities and the phone’s owner are trying to identify the thief. The victim said he set his Apple iPhone 5 down on a desk in the office to charge, but that it was missing when he looked for it about 15 minutes later. The security video shows a man taking the phone, but he is not identified.

Suspicious acts — A Hines Drive resident arrived home about 3 p.m. and about two hours later a neighbor came over and told the resident part of her yard had been burned. She said she had not burned anything so they called 911. The investigating officers said a 20-by-10-foot area of grass was burned, and there was not obvious reason. There was no damage to the house or other structures.

Criminal trespass — Two rental companies reported damage to vacant residences. In one case, an agent may have walked in on someone who was squatting in the residence. That was on Mandarin Drive when an agent for Stewart Realty was checking on a home. She heard noises from a bedroom, but the door to the room was locked. She walked behind the home and found damage to that bedroom’s windows and a fence. There had been no damage when she last checked on the home, so she called police.
The other residence damaged was an apartment on Beverly Street. The property manager said he had done some work in the apartment three days earlier. When he checked on the apartment again, a front window was broken, apparently violently, from the outside as the frame and shattered glass were inside the apartment.

March 4
Attempted burglary, residence — Someone broke into the home of a deaf woman while she was there and she didn’t even know. It likely is, however, that her service dog, a large German shepherd, chased the burglar off. The woman’s husband reported that it was the second incident at the mobile home on Strickland Road since they had moved in a week earlier. He asked officers to step up ride-by checks to physical house checks because of his wife’s vunerability. In this instance, when officers arrived they found that someone had tried to pick the lock on the back door and then pried it open. The owner had to go down the street to retrieve their dog.

Fraud — A job offer came with a check and instructions on what to do with it, a woman complained to officers. The complainant said she had been communicating with another woman via email for about three weeks after responding to an online job offer. She received a $3,500 “check” and was told to deposit it in her bank and send the money back to her “employer.” After she had sent two Moneygrams and one Western Union transfer, her bank informed her the check had bounced. The police provided her with a case number and told her how she could get a copy of the report.

More fraud — A Magnolia Mobile Home Park resident called police to complain that someone apparently used her name and information to get cable, Internet and phone service in 2011. She told the investigating officer that she was trying to get the service at her home and was told she owed $248 from three years earlier. She admitted she had ordered service back in 2011, but said she had been kicked out before it was intalled. The cable company told her the service had been set up in a residence near her old place and the billing address was her old residence. No bills were ever paid, and the resident said she had never seen any of the bills.

Simple assault/battery — An apparent domestic dispute turned out peacefull, though the husband was scratched before officers arrived. They were sent to the Desert Storm Drive residence after the woman called to say she feared an argument may turn violent. She said her husband “becomes angry very easily, drinks excessively and suffers from (post-traumatic stress disorder).” She said she didn’t want her husband to go to jail and admitted she had scratched him to put space between them. He had been yelling in her face, she said. He said the argument started when he told his wife he wanted to file his taxes the next day because he had just gotten a new duty station on Fort Stewart. He said she started yelling at him and scratched him, but he didn’t want to press charges. He agreed to go to a motel for the night. “...all appeared to be in order and no criminal activity was witnessed,” as the husband left, the reporting officer concluded

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