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Signs of the apocalypse in crime reports
From the editor
Jeff Whitten NEW
Jeff Whitten is managing editor of the Coastal Courier. - photo by File photo

There’s a feature in Sports Illustrated called "This week’s sign that the apocalypse is upon us."

It is generally short and funny, though sometimes it is short and not so funny.

It’s also what it says it is, at least to me. The apocalypse really is just around the corner, and the Big Guy is getting ready to throw us humans off the planet for being bad tenants who don’t take care of the place and make racket at all hours of the night.

That’s kind of what going through a batch of Hinesville Police Department reports is like. You see signs everyday the wheels are falling off, or would if it weren’t for good cops out there trying to keep folks from stealing them first.

I was reminded of that for about the thousandth time the other day when a clump of HPD reports arrived in a single e-mail after a drought of a few weeks.

The reports, which generally include ample rations of human misery, suffering, greed, drunkenness, anger, violence, pettiness and just plain ignorance, say something about Hinesville I can’t quite put my finger on. And I love Hinesville, but it’s got issues.

For example: There’s the woman who told police she had come from Savannah to Hinesville to "start a new life."

So what happens? While she’s walking through the Walmart parking lot after getting off her bus she’s propositioned by a man in a car with no pants. What’s more, he’s driving with only one hand on the wheel.

And there’s the poor kid working at Pizza Hut allegedly attacked by a woman and her sister. The woman called in an order, then called back to say she wanted cheese sticks instead of bread sticks

When the kid told them it was too late to change the order, they allegedly went inside the restaurant to open up a can of you know what. One sister smacked the kid while the other sister tried to go over the counter and then through the kitchen door.

They denied it, and claimed the kid started the whole thing, but the report said store video footage showed it went down the way she said it did.

Different day, I think, but from the same stack of reports: a teacher at Lyman Hall Elementary had to contact HPD to file a report after "bring your parents to school day."

According to that report, 10 iPads were provided to parents and children to use for activities together. After it was over, the teacher collected the iPads and while taking inventory learned one was missing. Police are investigating.

Want more. Probably not. Here goes anyway.

A woman stops to pump gas at an Exxon station on E.G. Miles Parkway and doesn’t wait for the clerk to "authorize" the pump. The clerk used the station’s public address system to tell the woman to put the nozzle back into its pump so she can turn the pump on, but that didn’t work. The woman kept trying to pump the gas.

The clerk went out to ask the woman to hang the nozzle back up so she could turn the pump on, and "the customer used foul/abusive language toward her," the report said, and the clerk then listed three words — including "skank" — before adding the woman used "other abusive words, but she didn’t want to repeat them."

The passenger paid for the gas and the woman drove off, presumably to go spread more sunshine and cheer. There may be video, because there frequently is.

Case in point: A woman reported she went to a restaurant to pick up some food and dropped her wallet. Later, she got a call from the restaurant saying the wallet had been turned in. She went back to pick it up. It was missing $285 in cash, her driver’s license and Bank of America card.

Security footage showed a man find the wallet, empty it and turn it in. Turns out he’d just had a meal and paid for it with a card, the report said, because they got a name. Assuming the card he used was his, he has already got a visit by police.

Finally, this one, from Irma.

A Florida man who came up here to escape the storm by staying with a friend in Midway was driving around Airport Road with the friend. He somehow wound up getting stopped because somebody in that area was spotted trying to siphon gas from Liberty County Animal Control vehicles.

Guess what? The man had sipped a beer or two. So had his friend. Both took breathalyzer tests and were under the legal limit, but the man’s insurance hadn’t been paid since June. His Florida license was suspended, and Florida wanted his tag confiscated.

There being a hurricane, the police let him and the woman off, but had the car towed.

Oh and regarding Irma, there were a bunch of burglaries during the storm while folks evacuated. Among the items stolen were a woman’s CPAP breathing machine and a locket containing the ashes of someone’s mother.

Be nice if whoever took it would give it back.

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