Smash-and-grab thieves hit Lakeland cars
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office handled the following incidents in Lakeland during the first half of January. This is a partial listing; see bartlett-expresss.com for all incidents during the first two weeks of January. For later January incidents, see 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.
E. Davies Plantation Road (felony vandalism)
A car owner found his vehicle’s windows smashed in the parking lot of the Cracker Barrel restaurant (9649 E. Davies Plantation Road) on Jan. 2. He parked his Cadillac Escalade around 2:30 p.m. and returned about 3:15 p.m. Damage included his front passenger window, the side panel connecting the passenger side windows, and the back passenger window. The restaurant manager said their security cameras didn’t pick up the incident.
U.S. 64 (counterfeiting/forgery)
The manager at Sonic (9696 U.S. 64) reported Jan. 2 that two suspects ordered $32.89 worth of food, paid cash and fled west in their Ford Excursion while the waitress was making change. This happened around 8:50 p.m.
Curling Pond Road (theft from motor vehicle)
A truck owner said Jan. 3 that someone stole a Samsung tablet and Glock Inc. handgun from his vehicle while it was parked in his driveway.
He said he parked around 2 p.m. Jan. 2 and realized his property was missing around 7:25 a.m. the next day. There was no damage or signs of forced entry, and the owner said he likely left the doors unlocked.
The serial numbers for both items were entered into the National Crime Information Center’s database.
The responding officers checked the immediate area for surveillance cameras but couldn’t make contact with anyone. There was no workable crime scene for fingerprints because the owner had rummaged through the vehicle and driven it before the first officer arrived.
Salem Woods Drive (intimidation)
A subcontractor doing electrical work for a homeowner reportedly threatened him on Jan. 3.
The homeowner said he is having a pool installed, and the pool company subcontracted with Rush Electric. The homeowner said the suspect called him, demanding $3,000, and got angry when told to contact the company that hired him.
The victim reported that the suspect said, “I will find you, and I will whip your ___.” The victim had no other suspect information at the time of his report.
Valkrie Lane (theft from motor vehicle)
Someone stole an iPad from a truck left unlocked overnight, the victim reported on Jan. 4. The incident happened on the 9100 block of Valkrie Lane. The iPad’s serial number was entered into the NCIC database.
Valkrie Lane (theft from motor vehicle)
A woman who left her car unlocked and her wallet inside was the victim of overnight theft, she reported on Jan. 4. He left the car unlocked around 10 p.m. Jan. 2 and noticed the theft on Jan. 3. The wallet held no cash, but her bank advised her that someone tried to use her debit card at an ATM on U.S. 64 Jan. 3 around 2 a.m.
Fletcher Trace Parkway (simple assault/domestic violence)
A woman reported a violent scene on the 9100 block of Fletcher Trace Parkway around 10:40 p.m. Jan. 5. She said she was at the suspect’s home, arguing with him about using her Ford Expedition and telling him she wanted to go home. Then he slapped her face and led her down the hall by pulling her hair, she said. When she threatened to call police, he struck her in the face with car keys, she said.
The victim took her purse and phone and ran outside and across the street, but no one came to the door. So she ran to her vehicle, locked herself inside and called 911. She said that when her assailant came outside and saw her on the phone, he kicked the driver’s side front door, broke the driver’s side front window, grabbed her phone and threw it across the street. She said the man then ran off, and she retrieved her phone and left the scene in her Ford. She realized later that her wallet was misplaced during the altercation or taken by the suspect.
The neighbor whose door she had banged on earlier told police he saw her walking away from his home and into the cove, and he also heard her arguing with someone.
Champions Drive (theft of vehicle parts/accessories)
A woman reported Jan. 6 that her license plate was missing from her 2003 Gold Honda Accord. She first noticed it was gone on Dec. 24. She provided the license plate number, and officers put it into the NCIC database.
Herons Landing/Herons Pond (misdemeanor vandalism)
Two male juveniles admitted “doing donuts” in the grass at a Lakeland Park on Jan. 6. Two other youths reported the turf damage to their father, who called the SCSO. When officers arrived, they saw a black Chevy Tahoe covered in mud and grass, with the two suspects standing outside it. The officer took crime scene photos, and both teens received juvenile summonses.
U.S. 64 (embezzlement)
A shift manager at Krystal (9986 U.S. 64) is under suspicion for $3,015 taken from the restaurant’s safe, as reported on Jan. 8.
The manager got a call that the suspect had left work early, around 2:20 a.m., possibly out of discouragement about short staffing. So the manager came in around 4:30 a.m. to help employees close and clean up. When he opened the safe, he realized that all the cash, minus the coins, was gone.
Security footage showed the suspect going to the safe several times in the hour before he left, collect something and then go to the restroom and freezer briefly before going back to the floor. In one view, it appeared that the suspect stuffed something into his pants before entering the restroom. He fled out the back door at 2:09 a.m.
The manager has tried to call the suspect but has received no answer. The SCSO report noted that the shift manager was also a suspect in a similar report in March 2017.
Adagio Lake (other theft/non-specific)
On Jan. 8, a resident on the 5100 block of Adagio Lane reported package theft on or around Dec. 20. The victim did not have video surveillance.
Canada Road (misdemeanor vandalism)
A member at ATC Fitness (2991 Canada Road) said someone knocked out his truck’s driver’s side door lock and broke the door handle on Jan. 10. He parked it around 3 p.m. on the south end of the parking lot, and the manager said security cameras don’t show that area of the parking lot.
E. Davies Plantation Road (theft from motor vehicle)
A man who parked his ITAS motor home at Cracker Barrel on Jan. 11 was a crime victim. He parked around 5:10 p.m. and returned around 7:30 p.m. to find the rear passenger side window broken. Items stolen included cash, a Sony camera, a Nexus laptop, his wallet and driver’s license. The victim had no suspect information, and he couldn’t provide serial numbers for the stolen items.