Warrants issued for postal carrier who allegedly made up robbery attempt

Published 5:31 pm Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Warrants have been issued for a postal carrier who is accused of fabricating a robbery attempt.

Thomas Cook, 25, of Newnan, admitted to investigators with the United States Postal Inspection Service that he made up a robbery attempt on Aug. 28 on the 100 block of Woodchase Drive, according to a press release from the LaGrange Police Department. Warrants have been issued for the arrest of Cook for false report of a crime and false statements and writings.

On Aug. 28 around 2:20 p.m., Cook allegedly told police he was approached by a white male wearing a dark blue t-shirt, blue jeans and white tennis shoes who was standing at the end of a driveway. He said the male produced a pocket knife and demanded that he exit the vehicle so he could steal items inside, according to the press release.

Cook said he drove off without complying but was cut on his left forearm.

The LPD’s Criminal Investigations Section was notified and began an investigation into the incident. The LaGrange Police Department’s K-9 unit responded and attempted to track the attacker but was unsuccessful. Officers and detectives completed a canvass of the surrounding residence, which did not reveal any information relative to the reported crime.

On Tuesday, Cook admitted he made up the incident to investigators. Sgt. William Nelson with the LPD said Cook was reportedly behind on some of his work and might’ve been looking to be reassigned.

Nelson said the false report of a crime ties up a lot of police resources that could be used investigating real crimes.

“In a situation like this, for one person that makes a false report, you can end up with 20 to 30 individuals working in some capacity on it for extended periods of time,” Nelson said. “And one step past that, it’s not just the number of resources it takes to work it. It’s the absolute fear that it strikes in the people that live in these neighborhoods that they expect to be safe.”

There were additional resources tied up in this case with the U.S. Postal Service investigating as well, which is the norm for any incident involving a postal carrier.

The United States Postal Inspection Service had Cook describe the suspect and created a rendering of the suspect, which was passed out around the Woodchase Drive area, Nelson said.

“[The United States Postal Inspection Service] brought in all their resources immediately and had him sit down and describe this individual,” Nelson said. “They made a rendering that they passed out and apparently he fabricated every bit of it.”

Nelson said false report of a crime is a misdemeanor that if convicted can lead to a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail. False statements and writing are felonies and upon conviction can include up to a $1,000 fine and one to five years in jail.