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Bandits make off with bushes, lotto tickets, fuel
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First it was air conditioners, then catalytic converters... now shrubs?

 Sometime between the evening of July 28 and the morning of July 29, someone uprooted and stole 39 newly planted landscape shrubs from a new subdivision on County Road 213. The Mansfield construction company owner reporting the theft estimated their value to be around $1,500, according to a Newton County Sheriff's Office report.

 The horticultural vandals apparently also drove over the newly laid sod with a vehicle, damaging about 50 pieces or $45 worth.

 There are no identified suspects, according to the report, but anyone with information on the incident can contact the NCSO at (678) 625-1400 or leave anonymous tips at (678) 625-5007 and online at

Bloody lottery

 A brazen store break-in left a mess of broken glass and scattered bloody lottery tickets, according to a Covington Police Department report.

 The store owner reported to CPD officers, who responded to a burglary alarm, that he was in a van across the street watching his store when he heard the sound of glass shattering around 1:15 a.m. on July 29.

 When he looked up, he saw a heavy-set black male with gray shorts and a white T-shirt carried over his shoulder reaching in through the broken front window and helping himself to lottery tickets.

 He got out of his car and began chasing the man, who ran behind the building. He reportedly hit the man with a cane before he escaped into the woods. A supplement to the report described the owner as carrying pieces of a broken stick and having blood on his shirt.

 Police found blood on the broken store window, on the lottery ticket doors and on multiple lottery tickets. The perpetrator was able to steal at least 15 tickets ranging in value from $1 to $35.

 In another lottery ticket heist, burglars struck a Newton County store on Aug. 3 and made off with thousands of dollars worth of tickets, according to a Newton County Sheriff's Office report.

 Surveillance video showed a tan or silver SUV coming from behind the building around 12:21 a.m. and pulling up to the north side window. The people inside leaned out of the car and broke the window, taking four racks of tickets.

 The perpetrators took at least 15 different types of lotto tickets, ranging from Super Black Jack to Cash Word to Fast 5.

Fuel drain

 The price of gas may have abated a bit, but the fuel thefts continue.

 About 480 gallons of diesel fuel were siphoned off from equipment at a construction site sometime between June 6 and June 9. The vice president of the company reported to the NCSO that the tank locks were broken off. The diesel was valued at about $1,920.

 A person driving a truck towing a dark-colored compact car left a BP Visa card with the employee at the Flash Flood gas station, saying he wasn't sure how much it would cost to fill up. After he pumped about $100 worth of gas, he moved the truck, as if he were freeing up pump space for other cars, and then continued onto the road and drove off.

 About $50 worth of diesel was taken from a school bus sometime between July 7 and July 11, according to an NCSO report. The driver was advised to have a lock put on the gas door.

 An unidentified woman drove off without paying at a Chevron station after pumping about $33 worth of gas into her blue Buick on Aug. 4. A check of the tag came back to a 2004 silver Mercedes-Benz.