Officers help hitchhiking couple

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 15, 2015

Public Safety Reports

By Melanie Ruberti

Two folks in need of a place to stay received a warm welcome to LaGrange from officers with the LaGrange Police Department.

The man and woman told police they were stranded at the Waffle House on Lafayette Parkway on Thursday night around 10 after being dropped off. The couple told police they had hitchhiked from Virginia and used their last $10 to eat, and they needed a place to stay.

According to Officer Lamont Baeringer and Cpl. Craig Wheeler, the married couple wanted information on homeless shelters in the area where they could stay until the end of the month and that would allow them to stay together.

Wheeler advised them no shelters in the area would allow them to stay together.

Another officer, Sgt. Steve Taylor, arrived and, after learning the couple had no criminal history, Wheeler came up with the idea to use some of LPD’s emergency funding to provide lodging for the couple.

Taylor approved the idea and made reservations for them to stay at the Super 8 Motel off Patillo Road for one night.

Bank reports check fraud

An employee at SunTrust Bank, 301 Church St., said their branch lost more than $12,000 due to the cashing of two fraudulent checks.

The employee called LaGrange Police Department on Thursday to report an unknown black male deposited the checks beginning on July 1 out of the area.

A regional security manager with the bank discovered the checks were fraudulent, the employee told police.

According to the report, a female then withdrew the money on two separate occasions at the LaGrange branch.

Police gathered evidence and turned the case over to detectives in LPD’s Criminal Investigation Division.

Stolen car found dismantled

A man discovered a friend’s stolen mini van, only to learn the inside of the vehicle had been entirely dismantled by the thieves.

The man found the 2003 Chrysler Town and Country early Friday morning at the Sunny Point Recreation area off Mooty Bridge Road. The man told LPD officers he recognized the van as the same one his friend posted pictures of on Facebook and reported as stolen to the Troup County Sheriff’s Office.

The officers said the van’s license plate had been removed, as had the vehicle identification number, or VIN, from the driver’s side door. Inside the vehicle, the top of the dashboard had been dismantled, the headliner had been torn apart and the rear window had been broken, which caused an undetermined amount of damage, according to a police report.

Officers stated they found a garbage bag nearby with some items from the van inside, such as the license plate and VIN sticker.

Since the the vehicle was stolen outside the city limits, the van was turned over to the Troup County Sheriff’s Office for investigation.

Thief takes iPhone from FedEx

A FedEx employee said someone stole an Apple iPhone 5s from the business’ center on Whitesville Road and left the box behind.

The employee told police on Thursday that possibly an ex-employee walked out with the phone. He contacted Verizon, who gave him information on the person who allegedly activated the phone.

The employee told police when he called that number, the person on the other end hung up on him. An LPD officer also called the number, but no one answered.

Police were investigating.

Motel sofa reported stolen

A guest at a LaGrange motel allegedly took more than his belongings when he left the room — a housekeeper told police the sleeper sofa was missing too.

LPD officers on Thursday responded to the Town and Country Motel at 712 New Franklin Road, where a manager told them a housekeeper went to clean the room that morning and the guest and his belongings were gone, along with the couch. The manager said the man had been renting the room for several months and worked with a local business.

Police were unable to track the man down. They continued investigating.

All information in this report is gathered from official law enforcement and public safety reports and releases. It is the policy of the Daily News to list the names of people charged with felonies.

Melanie Ruberti is a reporter at LaGrange Daily News. She may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.