Tifton Gazette

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June 3, 2014

Purse reportedly stolen from front seat while gas being pumped

TIFTON — Local law enforcement continues to respond to reports of vehicle break-ins.

According to an incident report filed at the Tifton Police Department, a woman reported Friday at 5:42 p.m. that while she was pumping gas at Flash Foods on Highway 82 West, someone entered her vehicle and stole her purse from the front seat.

She said she didn't witness anything, however, when she got back into her vehicle, she noticed that the purse was no longer on the front seat. The doors were unlocked while she was pumping gas. Her purse contained her wallet, checkbook, multiple debit and credit cards, Social Security card, driver's license and approximately $340 in cash. She canceled all of her credit cards.

Officer Jason Waite reported that he spoke with Flash Foods staff who were able to pull up the video surveillance of the incident. The video showed a small white vehicle pull up beside the victim's vehicle and the back door opened.

At that time, a black male exited the vehicle, crouching down. He walked to the front door of the victim's vehicle and with what appeared to be a white shirt or towel over his hand, he opened the passenger side door and removed her purse. He then closed the door with his hand still covered and got back into the white vehicle and they drove away. Waite said the vehicle appeared to have a Florida tag.

In another matter, a woman reported on the morning of May 28 that someone broke out the driver side window of her 2012 Mercedes Benz GL4 while at the YMCA, located in the 1600 block of South Carpenter Road. Her purse was taken, which contained her wallet, driver's license, credit/debit cards, checkbook, $100 in cash and other items.

A man told police that a female subject came to him to report the broken window, but he didn't get her name. Another subject reported that he was at the YMCA with his wife and noticed three white or Hispanic males get out of an unknown type car. He said he saw one of the males walk into the building but didn't see where the other two went. He said he didn't know if they had anything to do with the incident but wanted to make law enforcement aware that they were there.

Also, some vehicle break-ins were reported May 27 at Regency Apartments on North Virginia Avenue:

- A woman reported that between the hours of 10:30 p.m. on May 26 and 7:20 a.m. on May 27, someone entered her 2009 Chevrolet Malibu and stole her GPS, as well as her prescription for Xanax and EBT card. She said she left the vehicle unsecured. There was no indication of forced entry.

- While checking the parking lot for additional vehicles entered, Waite discovered a 2006 Ford 500 that had the glove box open and its contents removed and strewn across the seats. He located the owner who believed that she inadvertently left her driver's side door unsecured. There were no obvious signs of forced entry into the vehicle. She reported that her wallet was missing.

- Waite also discovered a 1995 white Toyota Camry with the glove box open and its contents strewn across the front seat. There was no damage to the vehicle and no visible indications of forced entry. The owner reported that he believed he left the vehicle unlocked. He said nothing appeared to be missing. He noted he didn't keep anything of value in the vehicle.

In a past Tifton Gazette article about vehicle break-ins, Lt. Lee Dunston with the TPD had advised that in order to help keep your vehicle from being a target, you should take the necessary precautions by locking your doors; keeping your vehicle in a well-lit area, if possible; and if you absolutely must leave purses, guns and other valuables in your vehicle, make sure they are not visible.

Lt. Steve Hyman reported May 28 that 911 dispatch said they had a subject on the line who said she was being chased by a green Chevrolet Blazer that was driving reckless. The woman reported that the vehicle was trying to run her off the road and the driver was drunk. She had come from Sandra Drive and was headed to the police department.

Hyman said as he was approaching the intersection of Ninth Street and Tift Avenue, he observed a green Chevrolet Blazer heading west on Ninth Street. He followed the vehicle, which made a wide turn off of Collins Street onto 13th Street. He turned on his blue lights, and the vehicle pulled into a yard on East 13th Street. The driver stepped from the vehicle and stumbled back against it.

Hyman said he asked for the subject's driver's license, which he replied that he didn't have it. He said as the subject spoke to him, there was a strong odor of alcohol on his breath.

The offender, Rico Nigel Nixon, 33, of Tifton, was placed under arrest for DUI and no driver's license. Hyman reported that while checking the vehicle, he observed a small baggy lying on the floor board between the driver seat and the door. The bag contained a white powdery substance believed to be cocaine. Nixon was also charged with possession of cocaine. A breath test was administered to him, which read 0.142gm.



To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.

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