SCSO tracks down package thief in Lakeland incidents

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The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office handled the following incidents in Lakeland during the latter half of December, including the resolution of several front-porch package thefts. For earlier December incidents, see last 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.

Dec. 16

Palmer Drive (theft from motor vehicle)

A pistol owner reported on Dec. 16 the probable theft of his Sig Sauer from his vehicle’s floorboard. There was no evident forced entry into his vehicle, but he said he’s looked everywhere possible and not found his weapon.

He said the theft must have happened between 9 a.m. Dec. 11 and just before 1 p.m. Dec. 16. A dispatcher entered the pistol’s information into the National Crime Information Center’s database.

Dec. 17

U.S. 64 (misdemeanor vandalism)

A Toyota Tundra owner reported Dec. 17 that someone apparently sat on the hood of his truck and dented it.

The damage happened while it was in the parking lot of Sprouts Farmers Market (9050 U.S. 64) between 3:35 p.m. and 4:08 p.m. The Sprouts manager said his security camera didn’t record the vandalism. The property manager has additional surveillance cameras on the building, but they couldn’t be reviewed at the time of the report.

Dec. 18

Chi Chi Cove (threatening phone call)

A woman reported getting a series of texts on Dec. 18 that escalated from friendly to threatening. She didn’t recall meeting the person, who said they met on Facebook. She doesn’t have a Facebook account, however.

She tried to shut down the conversation and then got a text that said, “listen well i wont ask for you opinion on this, you can try and play games with me and regret this moment throughout your life.” The next said, “Im been paid to KILL you, and if you dont cooperate, you can try me.”

She responded by texting a taunt, “Bring it on baby.” The suspect then texted her physical address and email address with the comment, “i have my facts and details you can say ‘Bring it on Baby’ one more time and let see who is faking it.” The next text said, “im not here to Joke, dont get me off!!!”

A follow-up text said, “”2 THINGS ARE INVOLVE: 1. Reply me here now and hear my conditions or 2. I will call you ones and if you dont pick up, you lose your chances. I wont repeat myself.”

The victim said this person then called her twice that afternoon, but she didn’t answer. She gave police the suspect’s phone number and said she doesn’t know how this unknown person was able to get her information. The messages have made her fear for her safety.

The responding deputy tried calling the suspect but got an answering service message stating, “The Google subscriber you are attempting to contact is not available at this time.”

Dec. 20

Day Lily Drive (other theft/non-specific)

Someone stole a package containing a Hasbro Nerf Blaster from a woman’s front porch, she reported on Dec. 20. She had no suspect information and no serial number for the item.

Coltwood Drive (other theft/non-specific)

A woman who received email notifications that her UPS packages had been delivered on Dec. 20 returned home but didn’t find the packages.

It was trash pickup day, and she and her husband searched their bin and found the missing packages without their contents. Items stolen included an Easton bat pack, Hamilton toaster oven, Super Brite bike light. They also found packaging from a neighbor’s house in their trash bin; see the next reported incident.

A neighborhood witness reported seeing two black males in a vehicle of unknown make/model in front of her home around 2 p.m. The thefts happened between 1:10 p.m. and 6:04 p.m.

Coltwood Drive (other theft/non-specific): Another resident on Coltwood Drive was the victim of package theft on Dec. 20. She said her neighbor visited around 3 p.m. with several empty boxes he had found in his trash can. They had her name and address on them. She tracked her order online and found that UPS had delivered them around 1 p.m. that day.

Dec. 21

Lighthouse Cove (theft from building)

A theft occurred between 2 p.m. and 4:47 p.m. Dec. 21 on the 4000 block of Lighthouse Cove. Additional information has not yet been released.

Canada Road (misdemeanor shoplifting)

A shift manager at Walgreens (2960 Canada Road) spotted two suspects leaving the store with two bags full of items they hadn’t purchased on Dec. 21. He could only see a Starshower Christmas light decoration ($50) sticking out from the top of one bag and said he wasn’t sure what else they took.

He said the duo come into the store about twice a week to shoplift. He described them as a black female and a thin black male about 6 feet 1 inch tall with short hair, wearing a long jacket.

The shift manager said the store has surveillance videos but he couldn’t access them at the time of the report.

Dec. 22

Maple Walk Drive (other theft/non-specific)

A resident on the 4700 block of Maple Walk Drive reported Dec. 22 that he’d found evidence of a theft on his home’s surveillance video. He saw someone taking two recently delivered packages at 2:14 p.m. Dec. 20. They contained toy dinosaurs ($38 total).

The tape showed an unknown suspect arrive with another person in a dark Toyota Corolla, run to the front door and grab two brown cardboard boxes. The video also showed the suspect discarding a small brown box in the nearby woods. The victim retrieved the box, spotted a neighbor’s name on it and notified the neighbor (see next incident report).

Maple Walk Drive (other theft/non-specific)

A man found out he was the victim of package theft on Dec. 20 thanks to a neighbor’s surveillance video. The victim said he was out of town from noon Dec. 19 through 1 p.m. Dec. 21. His neighbor notified him of the theft on Dec. 22.

Items stolen included a gift card ($20) and a bottle of olive oil ($10).

Green Spruce Drive (other theft/non-specific)

FedEx alerted a Lakeland man that his package was delivered at 11:26 a.m. Dec. 21, but it was gone by the time he arrived around 3 p.m. He reported the theft on Dec. 22.

The package contained brown oiled Rowdy Ariat hybrid rancher boots ($120.89).

Conifer View Lane (other theft/non-specific)

A woman reported Dec. 22 that someone stole a package from her front porch on the 5300 block of Conifer View Lane. The U.S. Postal Service reported delivery around 1:50 p.m. Dec. 20. The package contained a pair of men’s Asics running shoes.

Woodland Bend Drive (other theft/non-specific)

A resident on the 9900 block of Woodland Bend Drive was another victim of package theft, she reported on Dec. 22. She has a security system that alerts her when there is movement at her front door, and she assumed the alert was the delivery driver leaving the package.

When she got home, she found that someone had opened the package and taken its knitted Cincinnati Bengals stocking cap. Her surveillance footage showed a suspect in a hoodie and gray sweat pants.

Dec. 24

Barley Mills Circle (intimidation)

A pair of brothers who objected to two neighbors’ reckless driving found themselves in a threatening conflict around 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

The first brother said they were smoking in front of his town home when two neighbors drove past recklessly in a gold/tan Ford Expedition, ending up in a grassy area across from his home about 30 yards away. The male neighbor leaned out of the passenger window and yelled, “Did you say something to me?” The first brother responded, “Yeah. I said, ‘What are you doing? You’re driving crazy.’”

He said both suspects in the Expedition began yelling, threatening to beat and kill him. He said they continued driving toward the exit of the residential complex and ran up onto the median, stopping about 50 yards from his home. The male suspect exited, walked to the rear of the vehicle and retrieved what looked like a crowbar. Then the suspects drove away before officers arrived.

The first brother said he believes the male neighbor has a firearm, but he said the man didn’t imply or use it during the incident. While on scene, the officers saw the Expedition pull into the complex and drive past them. They detained both suspects and searched the vehicle. There was no gun, but the backseat held a long metal rod and numerous other hand tools.

The male suspect said the first brother is holding a grudge because they both had an intimate relationship with a neighbor in the past. Officers gave him a misdemeanor citation for driving with a suspended license. Officers arrested the female suspect in the Expedition on an unrelated misdemeanor warrant out of Bartlett.

Dec. 25

Canada Road (business burglary)

Someone burglarized Walgreens (2960 Canada Road) at 5:30 a.m. Dec. 25. The manager said one of the front windows was shattered, and there was a brick lying inside the business.

He estimated that at least 30 packs of Newport cigarettes ($5.70 each) were missing, and the window would cost about $1,600 to replace. He provided video evidence of the suspect in action.

Chi Chi Lane (felony vandalism)

A woman reported Dec. 25 that she was home alone and sleeping when awakened by the sound of glass breaking in her upstairs rear bedroom. Deputies couldn’t locate anything inside or outside the home that may have been used to break the window.

The incident happened between 3:50 p.m. and 4:16 p.m. Dec. 25.

Dec. 27

Boyington Cove (theft from motor vehicle)

A man discovered on Dec. 27 that someone had stolen items from the bed of his Ford F150, parked in his driveway. Items taken included a Rubbermaid tub containing several work items ($2,500), a leather bag containing several tools ($1,000), a Black and Decker heat gun ($75).

The thefts happened between 6 p.m. Dec. 26 and 8:30 a.m. Dec. 27. The victim said he didn’t have serial numbers for the tools and had no suspect information.

Coltwood Drive (other theft/non-specific)

A resident on the 4400 block of Coltwood Drive responded to a call from a detective on Dec. 27, advising her that a package of hers had been found on Dec. 21. She said she had several boxes delivered on Dec. 20 and hadn’t found any of them.

One of them contained Estee Lauder cosmetics and samples ($107.56), some of which were recovered. Another contained a twin-size Cuddle Town comforter ($151) that was recovered. A third box valued at $35.79 contained placemats (recovered) and a book.

The detective told her that video evidence from another package theft victim on Maple Walk Drive led them to a suspect. Detectives found some of her missing property at his home and the rest at Oak Bank Cove and Maple Walk Drive.

Coltwood Drive (other theft/non-specific)

A detective notified another package theft victim on Dec. 27 that her stolen items had been found on Dec. 22. The recovered items were gifts, including peanuts ($27) and a book ($20). They were found in the wood line at Oak Bank Cove and Maple Walk.

Video evidence from another package theft victim on Maple Walk Drive led to a suspect, and a search of his home uncovered some property taken in several area package thefts, including four thefts from Coltwood Drive.

Triumph Circle (misdemeanor vandalism)

A man reported on Dec. 27 that someone banged his door repeatedly around 3:25 a.m. Dec. 13. He never went to the door but later discovered the door was damaged although still usable. The responding officer saw that the door was dented near the deadbolt and doorknob area, as if it had been punched or hit with an object.

The victim believes the suspect is a next-door neighbor’s ex-boyfriend. He said the suspect is 19 and works at Kroger on U.S. 64, and he also has a broken right hand.

Dec. 30

U.S. 64 (attempted business burglary)

Someone broke into Marco’s Pizza (9014 U.S. 64), as reported by the owner and manager on Dec. 30. One of the responding deputies saw that the glass kitchen door on the east side of the building had a hole near the door handle and lock switch. Glass on both sides of the door looked as if it had been struck with an object.

It appeared that the suspect wasn’t able to gain entry. The attempt happened between 11 p.m. Dec. 29 and 5:12 a.m. Dec. 30.

The manager said similar incidents have happened in the past, and the business’s locks have been changed in an attempt to deter crime.

Brunswick Road (other theft/non-specific) A customer at Brunswick Mini Storage (5186 Brunswick Road, Arlington) visited his storage unit on Dec. 30 and found that his trailer and two lawnmowers were missing. He last saw them the previous afternoon.

The owner of Brunswick Mini Storage said another renter witnessed an elderly white male and two Hispanic males taking the trailer and mowers that morning.

U.S. 64 (simple assault/domestic violence)

The assistant manager at Marco’s Pizza (9014 U.S. 64, Suite 106) reported Dec. 30 that her boyfriend grabbed her by the back of her neck, pushed her outside and then shoved her to the ground. He left and later returned to speak with her, but she refused to go outside and speak with him, she said.

The responding officers didn’t see any marks or bruises on her neck area, and she said that her boyfriend didn’t restrict her breathing and wasn’t trying to strangle her.

Dec. 31

U.S. 64 (felony drugs/narcotics violation)

An officer responded Dec. 31 to a call at the Citgo gas station (9108 U.S. 64) about a man trying to steal sunglasses and found the suspect sitting in the driver’s seat of a gray Acura at the business.

The officer smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle and also saw a glass jar of pills and what looked like marijuana in plain view in the center console. The officer uncovered that he had outstanding warrants and arrested him.

While officers searched the vehicle, the store clerk pointed out a passing vehicle as also being associated with the suspect. Officers stopped the vehicle. The occupants said the suspect had offered to sell them weed at the gas station, but the store clerk scared them off. They received a citation and were released at the scene.

The contents of the jar tested positive as 1.5 grams of marijuana, along with three pills of Xanax. At the Shelby County Jail, a body search of the suspect uncovered another 12 Xanax pills hidden in his crotch area.