Columbia Star

Quirky Crimes in the Capital City



Richland County

Covenant Road: A man called police at 5 a. m. Monday after he said his “cousin” had taken his vehicle. When officers arrived on the scene, the alleged victim told them his “cousin” was “staying” with him momentarily due to some upheaval in the 19- year- old’s home. The car owner said he got up early Monday and “immediately noticed” the keys to his car weren’t where he left them. He said he then realized his cousin was missing as well. He said he didn’t think the cousin “stole” the car, but he had “total ly” taken it without the owner’s permission. He also told the reporting officers he “wasn’t sure” what his “cousin’s” name was and he didn’t have a number or an address. He declined to prosecute at that time and called headquarters an hour later to tell the officers his cousin had returned with the car.

Percival Road: Police were called to a home at 10:30 p.m. Sunday after a father said his ex-girlfriend wouldn’t let him see his daughter. The 41-year-old man told the responding officers the “ baby- mama” knew he was coming, and he had called her a few minutes prior to arriving to tell he was almost there. When he did arrive, he said the ex-girlfriend refused to answer the phone or her door. When officers approached the woman, she explained the man hasn’t seen his daughter since Thanksgiving and that she had full custody. The child’s father admitted freely the mother did indeed have full custody, but he also said he had visitation rights. A short verbal altercation ensued about who was right and who was wrong until the officers broke it up and told the duo to go to family court to figure out their problems. In the meantime, the child was to remain with the mother as she had her own room along with all her clothes and possessions at the mother’s home.

Forest Acres

Forest Drive: Two women were arrested at 1:30 p.m. Saturday after a department store employee saw them stealing underwear. The employee said she watched as the women stuffed pair after pair of women’s underwear and bras into their clothing. She alerted the loss-prevention officer who then called police and began following the women, both 20. Once the two noticed they had been spotted and then saw the police arrive, they became extremely nervous and looked as if they were get t ing ready to make a run for it. They were then put into investigative detention for questioning, but they refused to give their real names or birthdates. They repeatedly offered to return the merchandise, and when they gave it to the loss-prevention officer, there were dozens of pairs of designer pant ies and almost a dozen designer bras. Since they wouldn’t cooperate wi th the police, they were taken to Alvin S. Glen where they were fingerprinted and identified. They were charged with shoplifting and may face charges of inter fer ing with police since they wouldn’t tell them their names.

Trenholm Road: Police were called to a synagogue at 1 p.m. Saturday after several worshipers came out after the service to find their car windows had been smashed and their cars had been burglarized. In two instances, a window had been busted out , and the thief or thieves took anything of value in the car, including designer handbags in the women’s cars. Almost a $ 1,000 was taken from two cars and the damage and repairs is estimated to be another thousand. Some latent prints were taken at the scene and will be processed for identification. The synagogue staff will also review the parking lot tape and provide copies to the authorities. They will prosecute if the offender is found.

West Columbia

Augusta Road: A man was arrested at noon Thursday after two women reported him to the police for exposing himself to them. The first woman told officers that while she was sitting in her SUV talking on the phone in the parking lot of a shopping mall, the accused man drove up and parked beside her. She said she didn’t pay much attention at first, but he began knocking on his window to get her attention. She said when she looked over, the man had his penis in his hands and was “pleasuring himself” while looking at her. At that point, the woman said she put her car in reverse and backed out behind the man’s vehicle. She copied down his plate number and cal led police. The man took off when he saw her writing, she said. Officers took the information and were going to look the tag number up when they got another cal l from another parking lot a short distance away about another man exposing himself to a woman. When they got to that scene, the woman there told them almost the same exact story as the first woman. She said she was in her car talking on the phone when the man drove up. She said the man took out a bottle of some kind of liquor and took a long drink of whatever was in the bottle. She said he was staring at her as he put some sort of gel on his hand and again took his penis out in full view and began to masturbate. She too got his license plate and the both numbers matched. The police found and arrested the man, even though he denied he was exposing himself . He answered almost all their questions with “I plead the fifth.” After the initial arrest, police had both women come into headquarters to view a line-up and both women picked the same man. He was then charged with indecent exposure, and both women wanted to press charges and give a statement about his behavior.

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