Beware, crooks love the holidays, too

Three men were arrested at the Target Store in the 5600 block of Roswell Road after presenting fraudulent gift cards to pay for a number of items. The gift cards were purchased with stolen credit cards.

The three had been in the store on the previous day and got away with items purchased with fraudulent cards. The masterminds returned to the scene of the crime the following day and presented yet more fraudulent cards.

These folks are believed to have been doing the same thing at other stores in the metro area. All were arrested on felony charges related to financial transaction card fraud. One suspect was a juvenile.

Although these clowns returned to the same store they ripped off the day before, they are a good example of how fraud and thefts will start that seasonal swing up the charts as we head for the Christmas holidays. Keep this in mind when you go out, when you use your ATM or credit cards, and especially when you load your Hybrid SUV with gifts.

And, when you go to the gym this time of the year, don’t leave your credit cards, wallets and Rolexes in the locker.

‘Lock your car,’ Take your Keys,’ ‘Hide your belongings’

You will soon see dozens of these “friendly reminder” signs around as we get into the holiday season. Please remember that on Black Friday, the bad guys will be out, too, so lock it up and use your common sense.

More criminal Einsteins

Just after 5 p.m., officers got a call of a man attempting to break into a car in the parking lot of Whole Foods in the 5900 block of Roswell Road. The man was described as wearing a blue hat and dark jacket. The caller said the man was attempting to start the car. When the officer responded, he saw a man who matched the description walking away from the parking lot.

The man had a bag on his shoulder. The officer followed. The man walked faster, then ditched the bag and ran. (We call this a clue.) The officer overtook the man and recovered the bag, which contained a screwdriver, and another bag, which contained a laptop and power cord, a GPS unit, clothing and a truck-driver’s log book.

The witnesses identified the suspect as the same man they saw. They said the man used a crowbar to gain entry into the car and then, after he unsuccessfully to start the car, took several items and walked away. The officers located the owner of the car who identified the stolen items as his.

GOOD MOVES: This is a good example of how stupid these clowns are and how one person, who saw this and got on the cell phone and called the cops, made a big difference. You guys are the eyes and ears and do a great job out there!

6000 block of Wright Road: Cops got a call of a woman going door-to-door selling or attempting to sell cleaning products. A patrol officer spotted the woman who matched the description and spoke with her. She didn’t have a permit to sell door-to-door, but she had a marijuana joint in her hand so she was arrested.

In the wee hours of the morning, just before 6 a.m., a patrol officer spotted a car driving 92 miles per hour in a 55 mph area south on GA 400. He stopped the car. The tag registration showed the car had been stolen earlier that day from Newnan. The officer secured the driver and saw that the car’s ignition was on the floorboard, with a screwdriver next to it. Yup, the car had been hot-wired. The driver was charged with stealing the car and taken to jail.

TIP: In my new book, “Stealing Cars in a Tough Economy,” I point out that “blending in” may be an important part of your strategy. Going 92 in a 55 isn’t blending in at all.

About 5 a.m., a patrol officer checked a car in front of a closed drug store. Inside the car were two men who were sleeping. The officer spoke to the driver who said he was living in the car and that his name was Mandrell. Later, he changed that to Rodrick. Rodrick was wanted for a burglary probation violation from Atlanta. He was arrested. The passenger was the actual owner so the car was released to him.

Just after 2 a.m., a patrol officer spotted a car in the right lane on Mt. Vernon Highway at the MARTA entrance near Perimeter Center West. The car’s emergency blinkers were on. The officer stopped and got out to help but the car drove off. The officer re-entered his car, hit the blue lights and stopped the car. When he walked up to the car, he could smell marijuana. The driver (imagine the look on his face) said he had let his friend out to see if the MARTA trains were running. The driver also had a suspended driver’s license.

TIP: In my new book, “When Not to Light a Joint,” I specifically note that stopping on the roadway and putting on your flashers will get someone’s attention. In the middle of the night, there’s a good chance that someone will be a cop. Knowing this and having a suspended license should serve as good reasons to perhaps not fire up the ganja.

Sometimes it’s hard to feel sorry for some folks.

Free driving course offered for parents and teens

Sandy Springs Police in conjunction with the Georgia Traffic Injury Prevention Institute (GTIPI) are offering a free “Georgia Teens Ride with P.R.I.D.E. (Parents Reducing Injuries and Driver Error) class on Dec. 29 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at SSPD Headquarters.

This two-hour course is designed to help parents and their new teen drivers, ages 14-16, learn what they need to do during the 40 hours of supervised practice-driving time.

This program is instructed and sponsored by the Sandy Springs Police Department. The program addresses driver attitude, knowledge and behavior, rather than a technical hands-on driver training course. While completion of this course may reduce insurance rates, it does not count toward the required 40 hours of supervised driving practice.

Registration is limited and based on first-come, first served. Email Officer Forest Bohannon or call him at 770-551-3325.

17 comments Add your comment

david

November 20th, 2009
9:32 pm

People need to learn basic street smarts,lights out,damaged equipment on your vehicle,lights off at night,parking innappropriately, all these attract law enforcement.Same thing goes for your outfit and how it matches weather or your surroundings police will stop you,people never learn

KennesawDave

November 21st, 2009
6:39 pm

I know the malls and retailers will hate me for saying this if they read it. But why not encourage people to do their shopping online. You can often get better deals than in the malls. Plus you don’t have to deal with holiday traffic, rude impatient people when you get to the mall or retail store, And hey, with the slight possibility that your packages might be stolen while you’re not home you don’t have to worry about dirt bags breaking into your car at the mall or retail store. And to top it off you’re in the comfort of your own home where you can light up some ganga at the computer and look up the MARTA train schedule without having to pull off to the side of the road with your blinkers to let SSPD that you need some down time at the Doraville city jail. Just a thought. :)

BigJake

November 22nd, 2009
8:56 am

This blog is actually written by a veteran police officer who has served his community for many years, and has taken on the added responsibility of sharing his experiences with us, the readers, for our enjoyment and education. The police and fire personnel in this country, like our educators, are sorely underpaid and under appreciated. That this officer takes his personal time to share his experience and stories with us, as well as educating the “dumb-masses” (thanks, Neal Boortz), is a testament to his community service. I rarely leave this space without either a smile on my face or shaking my head in disbelief as to the depths people sink to project their idiocy on others. Speeding in a stolen car; flashers on while you light up a doobie – why do you think they call it DOPE! Thanks, Lt. Steve, for all you do – it’s up to each of us to learn from others’ mistakes.

RebeccaJ

November 22nd, 2009
2:56 pm

Lt, I can’t wait to read all of your books:)

Big Al

November 23rd, 2009
7:37 am

Plus Lt. Steve is funny.

PinkoNeoConLibertarian

November 23rd, 2009
9:54 am

Lt. Rose, are you going to pose for a picture in a running suit before the book signing tours? Perhaps that could be the cover shot for at least one of the books. You could make it really authentic if you had your Satan Spawn dog chasing you. :)

Chris Broe

November 23rd, 2009
12:17 pm

BTW: People have been repeating the question, “Why do you think they call it dope?” since the 1930’s, man, when Cheech and Chong’s first album (78 speed) came out.

I always had thought it was a rhetorical question.

However, because that question has been repeated by every word-smith with a keyboard for the past five generations ad naseum, I’m not so sure anymore. I’m not sure of anything anymore. So, ALRIGHT! I dont know. I’ll bite.

Why do they call it dope?

Patrick

November 23rd, 2009
12:37 pm

KennesawDave, I agree about shopping online vs. going into the stores and the malls. The only risks with shopping online are someone hacking into the site, stealing your credit card information, someone working for the site, stealing your credit card information, both of which are fairly easy to reverse, and put a stop to, and someone stealing your packages off the front or side porch of your house, if they’re left unattended during the day. That’s why it’s best to either have them delivered to a neighbor whom you’d trust with your life to sign for them, and hold them until you get home, or do what I do, and have them shipped to your work. I understand in this economy not everyone has a job, and not every employer is thrilled to have personal packages delivered to them, but I’m sure you can work something out with your employer, if you have one, or have the packages delivered at a safe place where you can pick them up as they arrive. For one thing, any UPS Store or Fed-Ex/Kinkos store offers this service, and I’d imagine most office supply stores offer this as well, especially for small businesses.

MrFleet

November 23rd, 2009
6:13 pm

I understand, except the biggest problem is the cops & judges we have are 50 times worse than the garbage we have on the street. Cops and judges ARE the new enemies.

BigJake

November 24th, 2009
12:21 pm

It occurs to me that those who think that those officials, which are sworn to uphold the laws of this country, including the U.S. Constitution, can easily forget that their right to free speech, as evidenced here with their comments, is protected by these officials. Many people do not agree with certain laws, and the choice is either to ignore them, follow them, or work to change them. That is the beauty of our legal system – if you don’t like it, change it with your elected representatives or become the elected representative and change it yourself. I will not assume that those who condemn our elected officials are those who have found themselves on the wrong side of the law.

BiteMe

November 24th, 2009
3:47 pm

Thank you, BigJake! I agree with you and Steve, you are the MAN! Thanks for the articles, for the laughs, and for your service to our communities :)

Tony

November 24th, 2009
4:24 pm

That’s funny, I haven’t heard of ANY officer in Duluth or anywhere in Georgia being charged with these “crimes”. Some of these allegations aren’t really crimes like racial profiling (something that the mediatards dreamed up to cater to minorities), conspiracy to commit crimes on duty (never heard of it)and a few others. I don’t think that any police department would allow an officer to stay on duty if they were “corrupt” in any way . Some people watch way too much television. I guess the holidays bring out the crazies. It must be the change in the weather or maybe it’s in the water. Thank God I drink bottled water.

Jimmy-z

November 24th, 2009
4:32 pm

police are a lie. best scam going, best violent gang out there.

Jimmy-z

November 24th, 2009
4:33 pm

oh yeah, and tony- maybe you weren’t looking. You a friend of hers by any chance? you a cop by any chance? Yeah, we all thought so.

Tony

November 24th, 2009
4:51 pm

Some people in here need to go back to their psychiatrist and get their medication changed. Whatever dosage that you’re taking is not working.

Tony

November 24th, 2009
5:11 pm

Sorry to hear that Aaron. Sounds like it’s time to change jobs. Plenty of departments are hiring certified officers. As for you Joe, you and jimmy-z must be lovers.

sv1113

November 25th, 2009
11:54 am

Lt. Rose is a very good example of a caring law enforcement officer. Those of you who call him names and/or rant against the system can always move to another city/state/country/universe and let the rest of us enjoy his take on life and law. Go Steve Rose!!