April 2015, Part 2: Thefts, stolen identities dominate Lakeland crime report

april2015-LAK-scso-chart1-wMotor vehicle thefts, stolen identities, and domestic violence were among the incidents the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) handled in Lakeland during the last half of April.

The first half of April’s incidents were reported in the May 21 issue of The Bartlett Express; see that article for the incidents and all the accompanying tables, charts and graphics for the month.

Editor’s note: All suspects are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and values are estimated for stolen/damaged items. These are brief summaries of detailed SCSO reports.

April 14

Davies Plantation East (theft from motor vehicle)

A woman reported that someone broke into her vehicle and stole her laptop while she was parked in the north parking area of the Cracker Barrel (9649 Davies Planation East) on April 14. An employee noticed the smashed front passenger window and alerted her while she was in the restaurant.

The only item stolen was her Apple laptop ($2,700), which was in a red bag on the passenger floorboard. The window repair is estimated at $1,000. The owner had no serial number information for her laptop but told the responding officer she would check records when she got home.

The officer also responded to a second vehicle break-in on the west side of the restaurant. Someone broke the front passenger side window ($500), but nothing was stolen. The victim said Cracker Barrel staff offered surveillance video, which captured some suspect information. The suspect was a white male in a burgundy Pontiac sedan.

April 16

Interstate 40 (simple assault/domestic violence)

Officers responded to a domestic violence call on eastbound I-40 in the area of Canad Road around 3 p.m. April 16. The report was of a white male and female occupying a blue Nissan Sentra.

Deputies pulled over the vehicle on I-40 west of Canada Road. The female told deputies the couple were arguing, so she asked him to pull over and she got out of the car. She said she began walking east on Canada road, and then he got out and grabbed her and her purse, trying to pull her back to the vehicle. She said she fell down a grassy hill and got scratches on her arms during the altercation.

The original complainant arrived and told deputies a different story: He said the man had pulled the woman to the ground and hit her multiple times. Then he saw them get back into the car. A second witness said she also saw the couple struggling on the ground, but she didn’t see the man hit the woman.

Deputies determined that the male driver was the primary aggressor, but both the victim and the suspect refused medical attention.

One deputy took crime scene photos, but the female victim said she didn’t want photos taken of her injuries because they could be used against the suspect.

April 17

Laurel Hill Drive (identity theft)

A woman reported a case of identity theft on April 17, saying someone had filed a tax form in her name. She said she got a Visa Green Dot card in the mail on April 16. A company representative told her the card was activated on April 7. The rep also said the woman’s tax refund would be interrupted by her phone call about fraudulent activity. The victim said she had not filed her taxes and that she had an extension.

The woman also contacted the IRS, which confirmed that someone had filed a federal tax form, using her identity.

Green Spruce Drive (intimidation)

On April 17, a Green Spruce Drive resident reported getting a letter threatening him and his wife if he did not retire by May 1. The letter had no return address, and he did not know who would have written it. The victim said he feared for his family’s safety. The victim refused to release the photo, so the responding officer took a photo of it.

Old Brownsville Road (identity theft)

A woman reported on April 17 that she tried to file her taxes on April 11, but someone had already used her Social Security number to file taxes. Turbo Tax advised her to contact the Social Security office.

A Social Security officer advised her that her Social Security number had already been used, and a block would need to be put on it. No other information was available at the time of the report.

April 18

Champions Drive (misdemeanor drugs/narcotics violation)

Staff from the Somerset at Lakeland apartments (2900 block of Champions Drive) reported on April 18 that an evicted man’s apartment contained marijuana, clear plastic baggies and drug paraphernalia. The responding officer recovered six glass smoking pipes and a straw.

Champions Drive (other larceny/access device)

A woman on the 3000 block of Champions Drive reported on April 18 that someone used her debit card the previous day while she was getting her hair styled. She said she found the stylist through a Craigslist ad, met her at a beauty supply store near Shelby Drive and Hacks Cross, provided her debit card and PIN to buy the supplies needed, and followed the stylist back to an apartment at Eagles Landing. The woman’s boyfriend entered and exited the apartment multiple times during the hairstyle.

When the customer left, she checked her bank account and saw that someone had made two withdrawals totalling $806 from her account while she was getting her hair styled. She suspected that the hairdresser told the boyfriend to take the bank card.

The victim was not able to provide the last two transactions on her account at the time of the report because of a poor Internet connection. No additional information was available.

Brunswick Road (motor vehicle theft/ motorcycle)

A resident on the 5900 block of Brunswick Road reported on April 18 that someone had stolen the CanAm Commander 1000xt all-terrain vehicle (ATV) she bought from a next-door neighbor for $8,000. She last saw the ATV around 11 p.m. April 15 at the end of her driveway. Her husband left the house around 2 a.m. April 16 and did not see the ATV. She said the keys were not left in the ATV. There were no suspects at the time of the report.

April 19

Three Iron (simple assault/domestic violence)

A resident on the 9200 block of Three Iron reported at 3:20 a.m. April 19 that she and her live-in boyfriend had a physical fight. She said he was very intoxicated and got angry at seeing old messages to an ex-boyfriend when he accessed her Facebook account through her phone. He confronted her and pushed her twice in the apartment hallway, she said, adding that he choked her with one hand while pushing her against the wall when she threated to call law enforcement.

He took her phone away and broke it, shoved her into the master bedroom and pinned her down on the floor, covering her mouth, she said.

She started scratching his arms in an attempt to escape, and then she broke free and started beating on neighbors’ doors to ask for help. He left, and she used a disconnected cell phone to call 911 (cell phones retain emergency dialing capabilities even after account disconnection).

She refused medical attention at the scene. Officers did not observe any signs of injury at the time of the incident, and they could not find the boyfriend in the area. Her children, ages 5 and 1, were on scene during the incident.

April 20

Green Ridge Cove (identity theft)

A resident on the 9700 block of Green Ridge Cove reported on April 20 that she uncovered identity theft when she checked her credit history. She found two Comcast accounts that she had not opened.

Comcast told her someone opened both accounts on Sept. 14, 2014, and the equipment was installed on Sept. 19. The suspect used her Social Security number and name to open both accounts. She provided officers with the account numbers, the telephone numbers associated with the accounts and the installation addresses for the equipment. One site was on the 6700 block of North Landing Way, Memphis, and the other was on the 100 block of Fernwood Ave., also in Memphis.

The accounts had racked up pay-per-view charges totalling $1,218.47 and $1,457.23. The victim said she has no suspect information and does not know how someone obtained her Social Security number.

April 21

Woodcutter Cove (theft from motor vehicle)

A resident of Woodcutter Cove reported on April 21 that someone broke into his vehicle after he parked it in his driveway the previous night around 9 p.m. He returned around 6 a.m. and found that the front passenger side window had been smashed.

Someone had removed $15 from the wallet he left on the passenger seat the previous night. The victim said nothing else was taken.

April 22

U.S. 64 (counterfeiting/forgery)

Staff at the Sonic Drive-In (9696 U.S. 64) reported the attempted use of a potentially counterfeit bill around 7:30 p.m. April 22.

The server said she took a $12.75 family-size order of cheesesticks to three black customers in a gray Toyota Yaris. Occupants were a female driver, a male front-seat passenger, and a female backseat passenger. The server said she only dealt with the woman in the backseat, who handed over a suspicious $100 for payment.

The bill looked and felt wrong, and the server said she had to go inside to get change. When she returned, she began to record the car’s tag information. The woman in the backseat then acted nervous and said, “No! What are you doing? What are you writing down?”

Then the driver reversed from the parking spot and left, headed eastbound on U.S. 64.

The server said the suspect had long braided hair, appeared to be about 20 years old and wore a pink midriff shirt with strings hanging at the bottom. The server could not provide a description of the other people in the car. The tag was linked to a male resident of Somerville, Tenn. The responding officer took the $100 bill as evidence.

April 23

Owl Hill (identity theft)

A couple residing on the 11600 block of Memphis Arlington Road reported on April 23 that someone had used their personal information to file an electronic tax return.

They said they contacted the IRS and were advised to file a report. They said the IRS gave them no additional information.

April 24

Weber Drive (theft from motor vehicle)

A man reported that someone stole pain pills from his vehicle the 3200 block of Weber Drive on April 24. He was helping his father move out and had parked his GM Sierra in a neighbor’s driveway around 5:30 p.m. He left a blue pouch on the truck’s backseat, and it contained pain pills he has used daily since sustaining a serious back injury. He said the neighbor was watching from her home’s window when he took some of the pills.

When he returned to the car at 9:30 p .m., the truck’s rear sliding window was open and the driver’s side door had been unlocked. Someone had stolen his prescription medication (Oxycodone, Fentanyl and Temazepam) but left other valuables and other medication untouched.

The victim suspects that someone entered through he window and exited through the door. There was no damage to the truck.

The neighbor said she didn’t hear or see anything suspicious throughout the night and was not aware of the theft.

April 25

Musket Drive (theft and recovery of a passenger vehicle)

A man reported on April 25 that someone had moved and damaged his vehicle, a black 2009 Pontiac G8.

He said he parked it and locked it around midnight April 25 on the 3200 block of Musket Drive. It was gone when he returned around 3:30 a.m.

He didn’t report it stolen immediately because he assumed it had been towed for being parked on the street in the Canada Trace Mobile Home Community.

He found it around noon on the right side of Monroe Road, about 50 feet north of Parrish Drive, with a damaged front bumper. The vehicle was still locked, and there was no other damage.

The reponding deputy called the community’s designated towing company, and learned that the company had not towed the G8. The owner said his vehicle has an alarm and he never lost possession of his keys.

April 27

Old Trail Cove (theft from building)

A resident on the 3200 block of Old Trail Cove reported on April 27 that someone stole property from his garage storage closet on April 20 when his daughter had friends at the house.

He said his daughter suspects the friends, two males and a female, took the property and pawned it at Cash America on Summer Avenue.

Items stolen included an Echo chainsaw ($350) and a Toro blower ($250). There was no sign of forced entry. The owner provided serial numbers, and a dispatcher entered the information into the National Crime Information Center’s database.