2017-03-17 / On Second Thought

Quirky Crimes in the Capital City

Richland County

Covenant Road: A woman went to police headquarters at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday after she said she and a friend had been robbed at gunpoint by an unknown suspect. The 23- year-old woman told officers she and her 19-yearold friend had gone to meet a man who wanted to buy her old cell phone when he got into their vehicle, pulled a handgun on them, and demanded their money and phones. The woman said she had never personally met the man, but she found him on a website designed to introduce buyers and sellers of various merchandise. She said she had an old iPhone for sale for $350, and he had contacted her to buy it. She and the other woman went to the incident location to conduct the sale of the phone for the money when he pulled out his gun. She said in the midst of the robbery, the man might have “been on something” because he kept “muttering” about the area being in his neighborhood and stating “on my blood” and “on my homies” that he would “kill” them if they didn’t hurry up. He got her wallet with all her identification as well as several credit cards. He also got both women’s cell phones. The robber got away with almost $2,000 worth of goods, the woman said.

Bethel Church Road: A man called police at 11:30 p.m. Monday after he said his girlfriend had “stolen” his truck. He said she took the keys and drove off while he was sleeping, but she took the keys without his permission or knowledge. She was located in a nearby bar on Two Notch Road and didn’t deny the car belonged to him. She surrendered the keys without incident, and he declined to press charges once he got the vehicle back. tPercival Road: The president of a neighborhood Homeowner’s Association went to police headquarters at 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning after he said he discovered “gang graffiti” on two of the buildings belonging under the HOA’s supervison. The president said he was shocked because to his knowledge there had never been any gang-related activity in that community and no “gangbangers” lived there. He had photos of the vandalism and told police he would get estimates for what it would cost to repaint the buildings.

Forest Acres

Forest Drive: Police were called to a department store at 6 p.m. Friday after three bogus checks had been discovered in the evening records. At the shift change when the day’s money was totaled, it was discovered three separate checks of $100 each had been written for various merchandise in several departments, and all three were forgeries. The store was still interviewing the employees involved and reviewing the video surveillance tapes to see if the culprit was one person or several people working together at the time of this report.

Trenholm Road: A woman went to police headquarters at 2 p.m. Tuesday after she said a man she knew had shown up unannounced at her home, and it wasn’t the first time. She said it was getting to be a problem and wanted it stopped. The 23-year-old told officers the man just “appeared” in her yard that morning and “pretended to be doing yardwork.” The woman said this was an on-going problem and on one day previously, the same 55-year-old man showed up twice in the same day. She said he came once in the morning and once in the afternoon and she was home both times. She said he must know her schedule since he comes to the residence “purposely” when she’s at home. When police questioned the man, he told them he was merely “helping out” with yardwork and he thought his wife had told the woman he was coming. He denied any intention of upsetting the resident or of “stalking” her. No charges were filed.

Forest Drive: Police were called to a department store at 3 p.m. Thursday after a security guard said he had caught a woman stealing undergarments. When officers arrived, the security guard had detained the woman and told the officers she had “stolen” a “tummy tamer,” which is a type of undergarment much like a tank top only it is designed to hold in stomach fat. The woman insisted she did not steal the garment. She said she took it to the dressing room to try it on and didn’t like the results so she returned it to the area she had found it. The security guard had found an empty hanger in the dressing room and assumed the woman had worn the “tummy tamer” out under her clothing. When it was revealed she had indeed returned the garment to the store, no charges were filed, and an apology was given to the woman. The woman was extremely upset at the accusation of being a thief and for “being held against her will” until police arrived. It wasn’t clear if she would take legal action against the guard and the store at the time of this report.

West Columbia

Charleston Highway: A man was arrested at just after midnight Friday after an officer on patrol spotted a car haphazardly parked in the lot of a motel. Instead of being pulled into one of the vertical parking spaces, this vehicle was parked horizontally across several spaces with the lights off and the motor running. The officer went up to the car and saw a man sleeping in the driver’s seat. After several attempts of knocking on the windows and calling to the man, the driver woke up and rolled down the window. At that point, the officer got a blast of what he assumed to be marijuana smoke. The officer asked the driver if he was OK, and the owner replied he was fine. He went on to explain he was a driver for a private car service, and he was simply “resting” and waiting for his next call for a pick-up. The officer asked if the man had been smoking marijuana and he said he had taken a “toke or two.” He told the officer there might be a “roach” in the ashtray, meaning the butt of a hand rolled marijuana cigarette, and there was. Now having probable cause, backup was called, and the car was searched. The search revealed more loose marijuana, a scale, and several packs of rolling papers. The man was charged with possession of an illegal drug and possession of the drug paraphernalia and taken to jail without incident. His vehicle was secured and left at the scene.

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