Lakeland crime report for May: A swindle, a fake $20, fights and more
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) reported the following incidents in Lakeland for May 2014. (Editor’s note: All suspects are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty, and values are estimated for stolen/damaged items. These are brief summaries of more detailed SCSO reports.)
- Canada Road (misdemeanor shoplifting): An Exxon station employee at 3548 Canada Road said a white male wearing a gray shirt walked in the front door, picked up two 20-packs of Bud Light beer and left without paying, driving off in a gray Ford F150, headed north on Canada Road. The theft occurred sometime between 2:25 a.m. and 3:17 a.m. on May 4. The SCSO ran the truck’s license plate number, and officers went to the owner’s house. One man admitted taking the beer, and the police gave him a misdemeanor citation for theft under $500 and warned him to stay away from the station unless he wanted to face criminal trespassing charges. The suspect’s four companions admitted knowing that the suspect stole the beer, and officers released them. Officers recovered the stolen beer and returned it to the Exxon station. The employee there advised officers there was video evidence of the theft.
- Woodland Fern Drive (residential burglary): A resident on the 9900 block of Woodland Fern Drive reported that that someone burglarized her home while she and her daughter were out of town between 5 p.m. May 1 and 2:30 p.m. May 5. When they returned, the mother noticed some drawers in the house were open, her closet had been disturbed, and some medications were missing from an open bathroom vanity. Smears of mud and grass indicated the suspect entered the house through an unlocked kitchen window. Stolen items included a Dell laptop ($400), an unknown quantity of prescription pain medication and antibiotics from the mother’s chemotherapy and cancer treatment ($100), a large water bottle of coins ($250) and assorted jewelry ($2,000).
- Triumph Circle (intimidation, domestic violence): A woman at the 9300 block of Triumph Circle said her ex-boyfriend (also the father of her son) confronted her current boyfriend in the parking lot of that address sometime between 9 p.m. and 11:50 p.m. May 7. She said she was afraid because the suspect had made a series of threatening phone calls and other electronic communications over the past eight months, even after she told him not to contact her unless it concerned their son’s welfare. She showed the responding officer the latest two Facebook messages: Around 9 p.m. the suspect’s first message said, “Take me off call block and call me right now. Thank you, not playing with you.” Then around 11:05 p.m. his second message used profanities and said he was coming to the current boyfriend’s apartment. He left before the officers arrived.
- Front Nine Drive (residential burglary): A woman was at home with two relatives when an unknown black man kicked in her front door and stepped inside, sometime between 9 a.m. and 9:21 a.m. on May 8. When she stepped out of a bedroom and told him to leave, the startled intruder ran out and down the stairs. A male family member chased the man and saw him drive away with an unknown passenger in an early 2000s-model GMC SUV (Yukon or Envoy), license plate unknown. The suspect was about 18-25 years old with long black dreadlocks, wearing a gray T-shirt, black sweatpants and white/gray Jordan tennis shoes. He was about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed about 130 pounds.
- White Spruce Cove (identity theft): A couple on the 9600 block of White Spruce Cove got a shock when their accountant tried to file their tax return on April 7. The IRS rejected it because someone had already filed a tax return in their names. They filed an identity theft affidavit with the IRS and notified the Social Security Administration, their financial institutions, credit bureaus and other relevant agencies about the crime. A sheriff’s deputy also took their report on May 8. There was no suspect information, no crime scene to process and no witnesses other than their accountant, who received the IRS rejection when he submitted their return.
- Woodland Crest Drive (misdemeanor vandalism): Around 2 a.m. on May 11, someone threw a rock through the master bedroom window of a man’s home on the 3100 block of Woodland Crest Drive. The victim said less-serious incidents like this have been happening often. Earlier that week, he found his for-sale sign removed and tossed into his neighbor’s yard.
- Ace Drive (other theft/non-specific): A man on the 9200 block of Ace Drive said someone stole his Next mountain bike ($150-$180) from underneath the stairs by his apartment between 10 p.m. May 12 and almost 7 a.m. May 13. He said a neighbor’s boyfriend might be responsible.
- Canada Road (theft from building): The district manager of the Waffle House (3640 Canada Road) reported suspicions that a former employee had taken cash from the register between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. on at least two occasions. One witness/employee saw the suspect remove money on April 28, and the register was missing at least $92 at the end of the shift. On May 13, a different witness/employee was away from the register briefly when the restaurant had no customers, and she heard the suspect’s voice; another $48 was missing from the register at the end of that shift. The district manager said the restaurant’s security cameras do not work. There was no workable crime scene and no other known suspects or witnesses. The former employee is related to another employee who was not on site during either of the two reported thefts. The suspect also has an active warrant for “non-payment of fines.”
- Evergreen Creek (intimidation): A man said his wife was upset on May 14 when she couldn’t find her cellphone, and he wouldn’t help her look. She screamed a profanity and threw a small camouflage walkie-talkie at the man, missing him but damaging a light switch on the nearby kitchen wall. He said it happened between 5 p.m. and 6:20 p.m. The man said he felt threatened and requested a report. The two are legally separated, but they are living in different rooms at the same residence.
- Webber Drive (false pretenses/swindle/confidence game): Officers interviewed a Lakeland woman on the 3200 block of Webber Drive on May 14 about a Brevard County Sheriff’s Office fraud complaint that involved her.The Lakeland resident said a man notified her that she won the Mega Millions jackpot. He offered to help when she said she couldn’t pay the taxes. So from May 2013 through May 15, 2014, he instructed her to open numerous bank accounts and deposit checks that had been mailed to her. She opened accounts at First Tennessee Bank, Regions Bank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Ally Bank. Someone also instructed a female victim in Brevard County to mail four checks totaling $16,788 during April to the Lakeland resident. Once the Lakeland woman deposited the checks, unknown subjects withdrew the money.
- Memphis Arlington Road (identity theft): A resident on Memphis Arlington Road discovered that his identity had been stolen when his apartment rental application was denied for a low credit score. He checked with a credit agency, disputed some of the contents and was told to file an identity theft report with local law enforcement. The SCSO responded to his complaint on May 15. The man denied responsibility for: (1) A credit card opened in November 2012 with Applied Bank in Wilmington, Del. It went into collections on March 2014. The account had been debited $1,948. (2) An account someone tried unsuccessfully to open with Barclays Bank. (3) A Capital One card that someone opened but soon closed without using it.
- Barley Mills Circle (simple assault): A mother on the 3000 block of Barley Mills Circle reported that two black brothers, ages 18 and 20, assaulted her son when he got home from school on May 16. Her son only knew the first name of the younger brother. The confrontation was about the 18-year-old’s ex-girlfriend. The victim agreed to follow the brothers to the Champion Hills Apartments, where he and the 18-year-old began fighting. The 20-year-old intervened and hit the victim several times before bystanders pulled him away. The other two resumed fighting and then separated. The victim was not injured. The responding officer watched a video clip of the fight that someone had posted on Instagram, showing all three males striking each other. The officer did not have enough information immediately to contact the two brothers.
- Champions Drive (theft from motor vehicle): A victim reported that someone stole her purse from her unlocked car while it was parked in front of the Champion Hills Apartments. The theft happened between 11:15 a.m. May 16 and about 10:28 a.m. May 17. The victim didn’t see any damage to her car, a tan 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. The purse was a small tan Victoria’s Secret handbag with purple edges, a purple handle and a yellow butterfly on the side. It contained her Tennessee driver’s license, Social Security card, her nurse’s identification and other items.
- Barley Mills Circle (felony vandalism): A resident on the 3000 block of Barley Mills Circle reported that sometime between noon and about 7:30 p.m. May 17 someone threw a large concrete rock at her rear sliding glass door ($3,500), scratching the glass but not breaking it. The responding officer didn’t find any fingerprints on the rear gate handle or the scratched door.
- U.S. 64 (other theft, non-specific): Two black male juveniles in a silver Mercedes passed a counterfeit $20 bill at the Sonic Drive-In (9696 U.S. 64) for an $11.49 food order on May 19, and video surveillance showed them leaving without waiting for change, according to the manager. The incident occurred between 10:15 a.m. and 10:51 a.m. The three responding officers ran the car’s license plate and went to the registered address. A Mercedes was parked in the driveway, and officers found two teens parked in front in a Ford Mustang, eating food from Sonic. A 16-year-old suspect said he passed the counterfeit bill and was driving his mother’s Mercedes C20. His mother confirmed he had permission to drive the car to school. A SCSO Homeland Security sergeant and U.S. Secret Service agent also arrived and interviewed the youth. The suspect’s mother consented to a search of the Mustang and her son’s room. Officers issued him a juvenile summons for theft of services under $500 and released him to the custody of his mother. The other youth, 18, was not charged.
- Davis Plantation (theft from building): A victim reported on May 19 that someone stole his Apple iPhone from his duffle bag at Paint Ball Park (9640 Davis Plantation). The theft happened between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. May 18. He said there were more than 100 juveniles in the park, and he could not provide any suspect information.
- Huff N Puff (theft of other trailer): A man reported that someone stole his No. 3 Doolittle utility trailer from outside his hotel room between 9 p.m. May 19 and about 7:30 a.m. on May 20. The detached trailer was parked about 450 feet west of his room and carried a No. 1 Atlas Matco concrete breaker and some Come-Along winches. The complainant provided the trailer’s license plate number and serial number, but officers couldn’t report the concrete breaker to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) because the serial number was not available. The complainant said hotel management told him that the cameras on the property did not work. The hotel is on the 9800 block of Huff N Puff.
- Davis Plantation Road (theft from motor vehicle): Someone broke into a vehicle parked at Cracker Barrel (9649 E. Davis Plantation Road) and stole a man’s laptop while he was in the restaurant eating lunch on May 21.
- Potters Wood Cove (simple assault): A father on the 3800 block of Potters Woods Cove reported that his son got violent shortly after 1:25 p.m. on May 23. The mother said her son had become increasingly violent and verbally abusive over the past few months. The father described the conflict: When he told his son he couldn’t have gas money, the youth began slamming his hands on the counter, swearing and yelling that he needed to see his girlfriend.When the father tried to grab him and talk about the outburst, the son cocked his arm as if he were about to throw a punch. Instead, the youth lowered his fist and threw a hard plastic water bottle at his father’s stomach. (Deputies saw a swollen red area on the man’s stomach.) The son admitted throwing the bottle and told deputies he was angry because his father has reneged on a promise of gas money. All parties on scene said the son was the primary aggressor. Deputies believed the conflict was likely to continue after they left, so they took the youth to juvenile court on charges of simple assault/domestic violence.
- Barley Mills Drive (non-residential burglary): Someone entered an unlocked silver Toyota Sequoia parked in front of a home on the 9300 block of Barley Mills Drive and disturbed the contents but did not steal anything. The victim said the crime occurred between 4 p.m. May 22 and about 9:40 a.m. May 24. She neatened the disarray before officers arrived and told them that the vehicle was not damaged. A crime scene tech lifted ridge detail from three door handles.
- U.S. 64 (forcible rape): There was a reported sexual assault on the 9100 block of U.S. 64 between 4 a.m. and about 5 a.m. on May 25. Additional details were not included in the published SCSO report.
- Tennessee 385 (simple assault/domestic violence): A woman reported that an argument with her then-boyfriend escalated into a physical attack on May 25 while she was driving on Tennessee 385 near Stewart Road. She said he began twisting her arm, so she pulled over and tried to push him away. He punched her in the face several times and snatched several keys off the key ring, trying to grab her car keys while she was escaping, she said. She drove off, leaving him on the side of the road. The responding officer/crime scene technician photographed the victim’s bruising and lacerations, which were consistent with her story.
- Canada Road (theft from building): The manager of the Relax Inn (3645 Canada Road) reported that someone stole a bolted-down Insignia TV from Room 125 between 4 p.m. May 25 and 9:12 a.m. May 26. She told the responding officer the name of the man who had rented the room, and she found his wallet on the floor between the table and air conditioning unit. It contained his driver’s license, birth certificate and miscellaneous papers. A neighboring guest said he heard banging coming from the room around 3 a.m., and a witness described the man’s vehicle as a gray Chevrolet Impala with two white doors on the driver’s side. A crime scene technician took photos of the crime scene, and the SCSO dispatcher reported the TV and its serial number to NCIC. While paperwork was underway, a black woman with a toddler drove up to the hotel in a car that matched the description. She said she was the mother of the suspect’s child and knew nothing about the TV. She said he had kept the car overnight so he and their daughter could get around. Officers spoke with the suspect via cell phone, and he said he would return to the scene, but he did not.
- Davies Plantation Road (simple assault): A woman reported that she and a friend were in a golf cart at Stonebridge Golf Course (3049 Davies Plantation Road) when a car driver assaulted her around 1:15 p.m. on May 29. The two women rode their cart toward Fletcher Trace Road between holes 17 and 18 and stopped at the golfer crossing sign. They saw a gold/brown Chevrolet Impala waiting for them to cross, so she began to move the cart again. Then the car driver also moved forward, yelling at the women in the golf cart driver. The victim said, “What?” and then the car driver turned around, stopped in the road and got out of the car. He yelled and cursed, got in her face, raised his fist as if he were going to strike her and then pushed her in the chest before going back to his car. He walked back when he saw her writing down the car’s license plate number, telling her to go ahead, and he stated his name. The victim said she wasn’t injured but she feared for her life.
- Old Brunswick Road (misdemeanor vandalism): A homeowner on the 5800 block of Old Brunswick Road said someone vandalized her house’s rear door between 11 a.m. May 23 and about 6:25 p.m. May 29. The door looked as if it had been struck with a metal object and kicked near the door handle. She said the house is her second residence, and she returns there about once a week to check on livestock in a barn in back. There was no workable crime scene and no suspect information.
- Canada Road (felony vandalism): A resident reported that someone shattered five windows of a building in the 3500 block of Canada Road between noon and about 9:25 p.m. on May 29. The woman leases a suite there and said she does not know who broke the windows. There was no workable crime scene, and no items were stolen.
- Front Nine Drive (other theft/non-specific): A father on the 9300 block of Front Nine Drive said an unknown black male juvenile stole his son’s bicycle at 5:45 p.m. on May 29. Reportedly, the suspect who took the bike was with a group of other black male juveniles who tried to steal two other bikes that belonged to the complainant’s son; those bikes were recovered. The suspects were lost after a chase across U.S. 64 into the Garden Woods area. The still-missing bike is an orange Thrasher with a red rear rim, black front rim add the word “CHAOS” on the middle bar ($55). While the officer was on the scene, another victim said her son’s bicycle, an orange Mongoose BMX ($100), was also stolen from outside her apartment. An unknown witness told the second victim that several black male juveniles took the bike. Suspects were last seen in the area of Grandbury in Countrywood, but the officer was not able to locate them. No serial numbers were available.
- Canada Road (misdemeanor vandalism): Between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on May 31, someone drove through a vacant property on the 3500 block of Canada Road and shot a BB gun or something similar, damaging a medium-size window near the glass-door entrance, according to a man monitoring the property. The property is on the north side of the mall, in the first entry area. There are no suspects currently.
Next week: Incidents handled by the SCSO in Arlington during May.