Tifton Gazette

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March 4, 2014

Fender-bender leads to shoplifting arrest

TIFTON — A Dawson man was arrested Friday after leaving the scene of an accident, which led to his connection to another incident involving shoplifting at Kmart.

A woman reported Friday afternoon that she was waiting in line to purchase gas at the Murphy USA gas station on Highway 82 West when a subject in front of her, identified as 39-year-old Thomas Mack Harrod, suddenly backed up, hitting the center bumper of her vehicle. Damage was caused to the vanity plate on the front, as well as stress fractures to the front bumper.

She reported Harrod got out of the vehicle and began to yell and scream at her, and dropped to the ground. He then jumped up and got into his vehicle and drove off. She described his clothing to law enforcement, and added he is a white male, mid-30s in age, 5’7” to 5’9” in height and 160 tp 180 pounds. A BOLO (Be On the Lookout) was issued for the vehicle.

Officer Terry McStott reported that while sitting in the parking lot of a nearby business getting ready to complete the incident report, a man pulled up in his vehicle and jumped out, saying he had the offender in the front seat. Harrod jumped out and started to yell at the man. McStott said he called for back up as he was getting out of his patrol car. Harrod was backing away as if he wanted to run.

McStott reported the man said Harrod was the shoplifter from Kmart and they wanted to press charges. According to an incident report filed last Tuesday, the man reported one of Kmart’s vendors, Harrod, who works for a company and puts furniture together for Kmart, came into the store and when he left, he took a Samsung Galaxy 3 tablet and Kindle Fire. He said he made contact with Harrod who admitted taking the merchandise. He told him to bring the items back to the store. However, the offender had not returned by the time the report was filed.

McStott reported he gave Harrod several instructions to place his hands on the front of his patrol car, to which he complied as another officer arrived on the scene. Harrod was then arrested. He was charged with theft by shoplifting, duty of driver to stop at or return to the scene of an accident, driving with a suspended or revoked license and operating a motor vehicle with suspended registration.

The complainant from Kmart said Harrod had been the driver that hit the woman’s vehicle at Murphy USA, and that Harrod had driven to Salem Church Road, parked the vehicle and then called him to return the items he had taken and to pick him up. He said he convinced Harrod to ride back to the city so they could finish the paperwork he was required to do. The man then drove Harrod back to where he saw McStott and stopped to turn Harrod over.

In another matter, a woman reported Saturday that as she was getting out of her vehicle at Kmart, a black male wearing a light-colored shirt and gray pants came from the driver’s side of her car and snatched her wallet.

The offender ran and got into a dark gray Dodge Charger with a Texas tag and left the scene. The total value of items taken was $876. The woman noted that she had stopped by the DOCO Credit Union on Love Avenue and believed the dark gray Dodge Charger was behind her.

Also, officer Amanda Faircloth reported Friday dispatch received a call to a residence located in the 100 block of Alder Street in reference to a young Hispanic male stabbing himself in the chest/stomach with a knife.

She reported that when she arrived, other officers were out with the juvenile standing under the carport. She said when she tried checking the juvenile’s wounds, he pulled his hands down to try to stop her from seeing his injuries. He was then cuffed behind his back for his safety. At that time, Emergency Medical Services was pulling up to the residence.

Faircloth reported the juvenile was very uncooperative and kept saying he just wanted to talk to his ex-girlfriend who was standing by the carport door. At that time, she went inside the house to speak with her.

The ex-girlfriend said the offender broke into the house through the living room area window. There was a stick above the window on the inside to keep the window from being lifted. When she heard him trying to get into the house, she went into the kitchen area so he could not see her. She said she didn’t know how he got the stick out of the window, but he was able to gain entry.

She reported he grabbed her by her arms, demanding that she talk to him. She said no and tried to go into the living room to get the phone to call for help. When she made it to the phone, the offender snatched it from her and took the battery out of it. He then held her down by her arms, trying to force her to listen to him. She said she told him she didn’t want to talk to him nor have anything to do with him. While asking him to leave, he got mad and grabbed a kitchen knife and started stabbing himself in the stomach.

Faircloth reported she searched the area where the juvenile said he had the knife but could not find it. The offender said he could not live without the victim. The couple has a two-week-old daughter who was there at the time. The offender’s mother was also there.

The victim complained that her stomach was hurting. She had a C-section two weeks earlier, so she was transported to Tift Regional Medical Center to be checked out. The offender, who was arrested, was also transported by an officer for an evaluation. His wounds were not life threatening.

To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.


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20140726 John Gamble.JPG

John Gamble (right) is joined by John Reid at the Tiftarea YMCA Saturday.

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