The Covington Police Department has made an arrest in a string of strong-arm robberies in which a man police described as a “predator” allegedly robbed and attacked several female escorts.
Police arrested James Scott, 26, of Covington early Wednesday morning shortly after Scott reportedly attacked a woman and then allegedly confessed to four robberies that took place over four months.
CPD Capt. Ken Malcom said Scott would contact victims on the Internet via the website Backgpage.com, under the “escorts” listing, and arrange meetings in Covington. Malcom said once Scott met his victims he would rob them — stealing their purses, cash and cellphones -- and then run away.
“He’d arrange for a meeting. He would tell them to call him once they reached Covington and that he’d give them a better location,” Malcom said. “He would greet the person as they would pull up, and he would say to them something along the lines of, ‘Hey, my parents live upstairs here; I live downstairs. We need to go around to the back to the basement area where I live.’ Once he got the (victims) back there, that’s when he would commit a strong-arm robbery.”
Malcom said Scott allegedly would meet victims at one of several Covington addresses on Louise Street, Old Monticello Street, Woodland Avenue and Primrose Cove.
Malcom said the police department has been working on the case for about four months, but he said some cases have gone unreported due to the victims’ profession. There were no reports of injuries during the robberies.
“The first few times this happened, the only thing that we would get would be a 911 call from someone living in the neighborhood, saying that they heard maybe a woman scream, they saw somebody run across the yard ... different complaints like that,” Malcom said.
“Once we checked the area, we couldn’t find a victim or an offender. So we had these calls a few times before we were finally able to make contact with some of the victims. So again we had to locate the victims. We would pull them over leaving the area and get information of what had taken place.”
Malcom said Wednesday morning around 4:30 a.m., dispatch received a similar call about a prowler.
“We felt like this was going to be the offender again that had done these robberies. When we get to the area, one of our officers locates the victim and Scott behind a house,” Malcom said. “We were able to make contact with him shortly ... at a residence.”
According to an incident report from the CPD, officers responded to a home on Louise Street, where a man told police he saw a black male, later identified as Scott, walk past his house down Louise Street and then behind a house on Martha Court.
Officers walked through the back yard and came to a large open area, where a dog was heard barking through the field. After a search of the area with flashlights, officers found Scott standing over a female behind a house on Primrose Cove.
Scott reportedly pushed the female and then ran around the corner of the house, leading officers on a foot-chase. However, he was arrested shortly thereafter at his residence on Woodland Avenue.
The woman, who reportedly was found hiding in the bushes on Primrose Cove, was taken to the police department, where she told police Scott had robbed her.
She told police that she met Scott a few days before at a gas station in DeKalb County and said that she drove to Covington to “hang out,” the report said.
The woman reportedly said she got out of the car and walked up to Scott, who then grabbed her by the face and told her to shut up and not say a word.
The report said Scott then pushed the woman behind the house, forced her to perform sexual acts, and then spit in her face, just as police officers were shining flashlights on them.
Police showed the woman a photo lineup, and she identified Scott as the man who robbed her, the report stated.
Malcom said after officers interviewed Scott at the police station, he allegedly admitted to four of the robberies that police had reports for and also allegedly indicated that he had committed multiple other robberies.
Malcom said there are several victims who have not come forward.
He said anyone who has any information about the case or any similar incidents should contact Detective Brent Fuesting at the police department at 770-786-7605 or by email at email@example.com.