Lakeland sees car thefts and home violence during May

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The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) handled the following incidents in Lakeland during the first half of May. The remaining incidents will be listed in next week’s issue of The Bartlett Express.

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.


May 1

Ace Drive (theft from motor vehicle)
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(Click to enlarge.)

Locking his SUV wasn’t enough to keep an Ace Drive resident’s property safe, he reported on May 1.

He parked and locked his Ford Explorer around 7 p.m. April 30. Around 7:15 a.m. May 1, he walked outside and saw that his SUV’s front passenger window was shattered ($400). Someone had stolen his backpack ($50) containing ear muffs ($70) and ID badge from the front passenger seat.

An officer took photos of the crime scene and lifted prints from the SUV’s passenger side panel.

Rising Sun Road (theft from motor vehicle)

A man reported May 1 that he found a window broken on his truck and some items stolen. He parked his Toyota Tundra in front of his condo on the 3000 block of Rising Sun Road around 11:30 p.m. April 30. He emerged around 9:30 a.m. May 1 to find that the truck’s rear passenger window was broken.

The only item stolen was a black Oakley backpack containing a pair of size 11 Nike tennis shoes (total value $160).

Deputies didn’t see any surveillance equipment in the area, and they couldn’t determine what was used to break the glass. A crime scene technician lifted fingerprints from the rear passenger door and took photos. Another theft from a motor vehicle happened during the same time frame at the Somerset Apartments in Lakeland.

Shoehorn Drive (theft from building)

Someone stole several articles of clothing from a laundry area on the 3200 block of Shoehorn Drive on May 1. The victim said she put her clothing in a coin-operated dryer around midnight and returned around 10 a.m. That’s when she noticed that several shirts, pants, bras and underwear items were missing ($1,000).

She said the laundry room at that location has surveillance equipment.

Rising Sun Drive (theft from motor vehicle)

An unlocked van was just too tempting for a thief on Rising Sun Drive. The victim said someone stole her purse from it between 6 p.m. April 30 and almost 3 p.m. May 1.

She left a blue Dooney and Burke purse ($125) in the rear of her Chrysler Town & Country van. The purse and a pink Coach wallet ($100) containing multiple credit cards, her son’s Social Security card and about $100 cash were stolen.

May 2

East Old Brownsville Drive (theft from motor vehicle)

A thief couldn’t pass up a couple’s unlocked car and truck on the 9300 block of East Old Brownsville Road, one of the victims reported on May 2.

The woman said the theft happened overnight between April 29 and April 30. Items taken from the Honda Accord and Nissan Frontier included a Bible (later recovered), coin purse, cash, two pairs of sunglasses, two credit/debit cards and driver’s license.

She didn’t know about the theft until another woman called with the news that she’d found the victim’s Bible in a nearby dumpster. The victim looked into the dumpster and saw multiple items of merchandise strewn around. She noted that she accidentally grabbed another victim’s ID card and clothing when sifting them the dumpster’s contents.

When she canceled her credit cards, she learned that they were used on April 30 at different locations in Mississippi and Arkansas, as well as at the local Shell Station (4861 Austin Peay).

The responding officer had her save the fraud documents from her bank for further investigation and also returned the other victim’s belongings to the rightful owner.

May 3

Bluebridge Cove (residential burglary)

A resident on the 3400 block of Bluebridge Cove reported a break-in on May 3 but didn’t know of anything stolen at the time of the report.

Sometime between 6 a.m. and about 10 p.m., an intruder broke his living room’s rear window. He found broken glass on the floor and his kitchen table, and chairs were overturned.

Because of past confrontations with another man, he named a suspect who might have been trying to scare him. A crime scene tech took photos of the damaged window, but the back of the house was inaccessible and the victim had cleaned up the home before deputies arrived.

May 4

Matwood Oak Drive (false pretenses/swindle/confidence game)

A would-be musket buyer reported May 4 that he was swindled out of $1,275 and got an insulting email when he complained.

He said he won an online auction on April 13 for a Richway Armory Civil War musket valued at $1,500 plus $25 shipping. His invoice listed a seller based in Brookline, Mass., but when he called he was told to send a cashier’s check for $1,525 payable to another person based in Fresno, Calif.

On April 18, he sent a cashier’s check for $1,275, which was cashed at a Fresno market on April 21. Also on April 21 the seller called to say that an additional $1,275 was required because of an error in quantity shipped. The quantity had changed to “6 pieces vs. 1 piece.” The seller also claimed that “the agency” had delayed the shipment until additional payment was received.

The buyer said it was a scam and he wanted his musket. The seller hung up when the buyer said he would file a fraud complaint.

On April 30, the seller emailed him, stating, “I can see you are wasting your time. You have gone deaf head. Go ahead and do all. You will still come back to apologize to me.”

The victim contacted police in Fresno and Brookline, who told him he had to file a local report first. He also filed an online complaint with the FBI.


May 5

Chapel Hill Road (non-residential burglary)

Open doors on a man’s storage shed alerted him to the burglary of some lawn care equipment on May 5.

The victim, a resident on the 10600 block of Chapel Hill Road, said the shed couldn’t be locked, and he noticed the open front and side doors around 5:40 a.m. That’s when he found that his Kubota zero-turn riding lawnmower ($6,671) and RedMax weed trimmer ($282.96) were missing. He described the orange-and-black mower as having a 23hp Kohler engine and a 54-inch mowing deck. Both items were last seen around 7 p.m. the previous day.

He also saw that his black single-axle trailer ($480.70), which had been secured with a tongue lock, was missing from the rear of his driveway. While the deputy was completing the report, the owner located the trailer on the side of Memphis Arlington Road near Maple Forest Drive. The deputy observed the recovered trailer, which was resting in the grass with damage to the left wheel well and disabling damage to the left tire. The owner took possession of the trailer and provided receipts for all stolen and damaged property.

Ramblewood Drive (threatening phone call)

A couple filed a report the morning of May 5 about alarming text messages they each received.

The male victim said another man (the suspect) texted him with a message that included cursing and that told him to back off. The female victim said she got a text from the suspect’s wife; that text warned her that the suspect was declaring he would run the over the female victim and burn down her house if he could. The suspect’s wife also said he’d been blowing up at her and arguing frequently lately.

Both victims said they feared the suspect would go through with his threats.

May 6

Woodland Elm Cove East (simple assault/domestic violation)

A man and a woman arguing about intoxication turned violent the afternoon of May 6.

The woman said they at first argued over the phone. When he got home, the argument continued and he called her inappropriate names. She angrily threw an empty pizza box at him. In retaliation, he grabbed her head with both hands and squeezed, she said. When she escaped, she called the SCSO.

When deputies arrived, the man was outside and smelled of an alcoholic beverage. He said there was no phone argument: When he came home, she started an argument and threw the pizza box at him, he said. He said he then grabbed her face and told her not to throw anything at him again.

The stories conflicted and deputies couldn’t determine who was the primary aggressor. The man and woman said they would separate for several days. Both left for other residences before deputies exited the scene.

May 11

Beverle Rivera Drive/Canada Road (theft from motor vehicle)

Valuables left in sight in a vehicle can quickly translate into another broken window. The owner of a Honda Pilot left it in the parking lot of the tennis courts on Beverle Rivera Drive around 2:30 p.m. May 11. Within a half hour, someone had broken the rear passenger window and taken the Fossil purse left on the front passenger seat.

The purse contained a wallet, one credit card, two debit cards, a checkbook, cash and the Social Security cards of the victim and her two children.

A witness who was running laps in the area noticed a gray SUV about 10-15 years old backing out of the adjacent parking spot. On his next lap, he saw the broken window and notified the victim. The witness didn’t see the vehicle’s occupant and couldn’t provide any additional suspect information. An SCSO officer took photos and completed a crime scene report.

Back Nine Drive (identity theft)

An identity theft victim reported May 11 that someone has been using her information and her previous address on Morning Vista Drive since 2010. The suspect has set up multiple fraudulent Memphis businesses, mostly contracting businesses, with her identity.

The woman said she hasn’t owned a business and couldn’t provide any suspect information.

She said the same suspect may be responsible for setting up an AT&T account in her name that is now about $600 overdue. Her real cellular account is through another provider and she has never had an AT&T cellular account.

Then in July 31, 2015, she learned more bad news from Capital One Finance, which had previously financed her vehicle. The company said payments in the amount of $15,307.88 had been made in her name and that she still had a remaining balance of $10,205.25. But her vehicle was already paid off, she said. She didn’t have any other information regarding who might have opened the new account.

Because of all these fraudulent accounts, she didn’t receive her 2015 tax return, which would have been around $2,000. She has contacted several of the companies that her identity thief targeted.

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(Click to enlarge.)

May 12

Windward Slope Drive (simple assault/domestic violence)

A domestic dispute turned into a reported shooting for one couple at 11:41 p.m. May 12. Three officers responded to the home on the 9900 block of Windward Slope Drive.

They learned that the husband had fired a gun in the house but he was unarmed when they arrived. They handcuffed the man and found the handgun in the master bathroom.

The wife said that she and her husband of seven years had just returned from an outing and gotten into an argument about their marriage. She said he punched her in the left eye.

The husband confirmed that they had walked through the front door still arguing, and he went upstairs to sleep in the guest bed but fell back down the staircase. He said he’d had it, went into the master bathroom, grabbed his Sig-Sauer handgun and shot one time through the bedroom walls. He told officers that he wanted to kill himself.

After firing the gun, he ran upstairs to see if any of the children got hurt, he said.

One daughter remembered her mother waking her up and then going back downstairs before she heard a commotion. She wasn’t sure what happened.

Another daughter was also sleeping when the adults came home, but she heard the baby gate being moved and slammed to the floor. Then she heard a bang from a gun, and that’s when the baby ran upstairs and said that their mother was crying.

Both adults smelled strongly of alcohol and said they had drunk too much.

A fire engine, med squad and ambulance crew also responded, but both adults refused medical treatment. Three more officers arrived on scene, and the husband was charged with simple assault/domestic violence and taken to Regional One for an emergency commitment.

Herons Nest Cove (theft from building)

A woman reported May 13 that someone had stolen her lawnmower and weed trimmer from her garage. She last saw the equipment around noon May 6 before leaving town. When she returned around 6 p.m. May 9, the garage door was open, but she thought she had left it closed.

She also said she owns a garage door opener that she can’t find. The home is on the 10200 block of Herons Nest Cove.

May 15

Woodland Ash Cove (theft from building)

A male victim said May 15 that two high school acquaintances stole his belongings after he invited them into his home.

He ran into the duo (who he knows only by their first names) the previous night and invited them back home to play video games. He fell asleep around midnight.

When he woke up at 1 a.m., he didn’t see the suspects, and his Lenova laptop, Samsung cell phone and Clonazepam medication were gone.

He found the two outside in a red car. The victim said he confronted them and banged on the car’s hood, but the driver nudged him with the car, causing him to cut his toe.

The suspects fled in an unknown direction. He said both hang out in the Macon/Sycamore View area.

A dispatcher added the cell phone and laptop to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database.

May 16

Blue Spruce Drive (theft from building)

A victim noticed two rings missing after his longtime house cleaner added three helpers. The cleaner said one helper was known for “sticky fingers” and had pawned jewelry from another house they cleaned.

The missing rings were valued at a total of $5,000.

Canada Road (other theft/non-specific)

A man on the 3000 block of Canada Road had a package stolen off his front porch in broad daylight, he reported on May 16.

He said the U.S. Postal Service delivered two Penn fishing poles ($500) at 10:33 a.m. May 14. His brother came home to check the mailbox and retrieve any packages, but he didn’t find any packages on the porch.

May 17

Triumph Circle (intimidation)

An Arlington Middle School student who tired of another student’s harassment at the bus stop before and after school complained to her mother, who filed a report on May 17.

The mother said the other student yells at her daughter and tells her to watch out. The mother asked the school bus driver to separate the two girls. She also notified the school.

The daughter said the other student swore at her when she got off the bus.

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(Click to enlarge.)