Columbia Star

Quirky Crimes in the Capital City



Forest Acres

Forest Drive: Police were called to a construction site at 8 a.m. Thursday after the crew showed up for work and found the cement mixer had been stolen.The mixer was on a trailer and had several anti-theft mechanisms in place, as well as being locked up in a shed, but somehow the thief or thieves managed to get the mixer and the trailer anyway. The lock on the shed was shattered and the anti-theft devices were destroyed. The tracks in the dirt showed which direction the culprits took the stolen mixer and could be used in the investigation to determine what type of vehicle was used in the heist.

East Shore Drive: Several neighborhood residents called police between 2 p. m. and 3 p. m. Wednesday after they said a suspicious woman was in their development asking about a male neighbor. The woman claimed to be the man’s mother, but when police arrived she told the officers she had another address for her “son,” and they said they would escort her to that home, but she declined their offer. She became very uncooperative with the officers and refused to give them any information on herself other than her name and a phone number. The number she gave had a 615 area code, and she offered no further details. She told the officers she would look for her son on her own, and since she had no record when they ran her name through the computer, no arrest was made and no charges were filed.

Sunnyside Drive: A business owner called police at 8 a.m. Thursday after she arrived at her workplace to discover she had been burglarized. There was no damage to her shop on the outside, but the business next door had a shattered front glass door. A rock was discovered just inside the door, and apparently the burglars had gone into that store to gain access to her place. The vandalized business had nothing out of place or missing, but the adjacent one had been rummaged through and two large flat screen televisions were pulled off the wall and taken as well. They were valued at $600 each and $200 in cash had been taken out of the register. Both business owners told the officers their surveillance cameras weren’t functioning, so there was no tape for the police to see to try and identify the thief or thieves.

Richland County

Two Notch Road: A man was arrested at 2:30 a.m. Friday after an officer on patrol saw him swerving in the roadway and making illegal lane changes with no signals. The officer initiated a traffic stop and pulled the driver over in a parking lot. As the officer approached the car, he could smell marijuana emanating from the car. When the driver rolled down the window, the smoke billowed out. The officer had the male driver get out of the car and as he did, bits of leaves and twigs fell off of his clothing to the ground. As the officer questioned the driver as to where he had been and where he was going, he could smell alcohol on the man’s breath. He asked him how much he had had to drink, and the man told him that he had drunk “two beers” earlier in the evening with his dinner. Unfortunately, there was a bag containing a burger and fries that were still hot on the front seat, and when the officer asked the man why he was having two dinners, the man explained “the pot” had given him “the munchies.” There were no drugs in the car, but the man was obviously inebriated and unable to safely get himself home, so after he declined an offer to call someone to pick him up, he was charged with driving under the influence and taken to jail.

West Columbia

Charleston Highway: A man was arrested at 11:30 p.m. Saturday after an officer on patrol noticed a car in a motel parking lot with its engine running, and apparently no one behind the wheel. The officer stopped to investigate and as he approached the car, he observed vomit all around the driver’s side on the ground and the car door. The officer peered in and saw a man with no shirt lying down across the driver’s seat. The officer roused the sleeping man and asked what he was doing there. The officer also noticed the passenger front tire was blown out, and there was some body damage to the vehicle around the fender. The officer began to question the man, asking him what he was doing in the motel parking lot, but the man said he “couldn’t say.” He denied having a room there, and as he spoke to the officer, there was a strong odor of alcohol coming from his breath and person. The officer asked him how much he had had to drink, but the man said he “couldn’t elaborate” on that. He did have a wallet with his identification in it, but the man said the address on the license was old, and he didn’t have “a permanent address at the moment.” The man got out of the car, and his shirt and shoes were also covered with vomit. The officer again asked what he had been drinking, and the man told him he didn’t know what he drank, but he called it “Eng.” The officer asked the man if he wanted to call someone to pick him up and the man said yes, but the person he called never showed up. There were several calls made to the possible ride, but after about 30 minutes, the driver said his friend was probably “not coming.” Since he obviously couldn’t drive, he was charged with disorderly conduct and taken to jail for his own protection. The car was towed, and the tag on it was found to be suspended, so it was sent to the DMV.

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