2017-04-21 / On Second Thought

Quirky Crimes in the Capital City

Richland County

Bethel Church Road: A woman called police at 10 p.m. Saturday to report someone had stolen the license plate from a car she owned. She said the car was parked in the lot of her apartment building, but she wasn’t currently driving it due to several mechanical issues. She was concerned about what would happen with the stolen tag. She said the insurance on the car had been cancelled, and she didn’t want to be responsible if the thieves used the tag on a car and took it on the road.

Covenant Road: Police were called to a business at 10 a.m. Sunday after the female cashier said a neighboring business employee could have possible taken her cell phone. The 29- year-old cashier said she was talking to the man she suspected of the theft outside her store, and then they both went inside, and she rang up the 19-year-old man’s merchandise. At that time, she said she handed him what she thought was his cell phone, but she now believed she handed him hers by mistake. Officers went to talk to the man who said he only had his own phone and emphatically denied taking the one belonging to the woman. He showed the officer his phone willingly to prove he didn’t have the woman’s missing cell. The officer viewed the footage of the surveillance tape at the store the woman said the theft occurred, but it was impossible to tell if a phone exchange happened at the time of this report. The woman said she would supply police with a copy of the tape for further investigation and would get the serial number, make, and model of the phone to him as well.

Two Notch Road: A man was arrested at 10 p.m. Saturday after he was spotted shoplifting at a discount store. The 38- year-old man had been spotted by a store employee who called the police. The employee said the man was shoving smart cell phones, air freshener candles, and wax warmers into a leather bag, and was about to exit the store. The alleged thief apparently overheard the employee calling, so he stashed his bag and when the officers arrived, he began to shout at the employee for “falsely accusing” him of stealing. One of the officers went into the back of the store and found the man’s bag with his ID and at that point, the man became very apologetic. He kept saying he was sorry and he was only trying to “give my kids a good Easter.” He was detained while the officers ran a computer check, and it revealed he had five previous arrests for shoplifting and three convictions. The merchandise found in his bag came to almost $200 so he was charged again and taken to jail.

Forest Acres

Sunnyside Drive: A man called police at midnight Saturday to report a prowler at his home. The 32-year-old man told officers he had gotten a ride home and was dropped off on the roadside next to his building. He said when he got out of the car, he had a clear view of his apartment and he saw someone looking into his rear window. He said he also saw another person with the person peering in his window so he yelled out at them because his wife and child were inside. He said as he rounded the building to where the prowlers were, he heard one of them tell the other one to “put the gun away.” He said they both got into a waiting car and took off but he never saw a gun. A neighbor of the victim came out to talk to the police to tell them that someone was in his car and had stolen a $20 bill he had “stashed” in the visor. He said he never heard or saw anyone in the car, but he believed it was a group of people who “barged” into his apartment and a woman in the group said she wanted a beer. The 71-year-old man said he knew one woman in the trio, but they were no longer “friends.” He said the woman had come to his home on a previous occasion uninvited, and while he said he didn’t feel like his safety was threatened, he didn’t “approve” of her visits or her demands for beer. He admitted he gave the woman the beer, but he said he did so reluctantly.

West Columbia

Sunset Blvd.: Police were called to a business parking lot at 5 p.m. Monday after witnesses said one man had pulled a knife on another man. When officers arrived, both men were still at the scene along with several other witnesses who knew one or the other of them. The man accused of threatening another man with a knife denied he ever had a knife but told the officer questioning him the other man owed him $200 for some construction work he had done. He said he did approach the man and demand his money, but he denied threatening him with any weapon. The other man told the other officer he did owe the accused man the $200, but he tried to explain to the man he would pay him at the construction site. He said he didn’t have the payroll with him when the man approached him in the parking lot but assured the man he would be paid, and that’s when the first man pulled out a knife. The threatened man couldn’t describe the knife but claimed it had a “long silver blade.” There was no knife on the accused man, but a witness told the officers she saw him hand the knife to “another gentleman in a plaid shirt.” The officers found the man and began to question him as to the whereabouts of the knife. He initially denied taking a knife, but after several minutes of questioning and being told about the eye witness, he finally admitted he did take the weapon from the first man because he didn’t want his friend to “get into trouble.” He produced the knife, and the man accused of using it was charged with second degree assault and battery and taken to jail.

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