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Crime briefs: Shoplifter goes 0 for 2
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A Covington man, apparently taking the old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try again” to heart, was arrested twice in 24 hours on theft charges, by both the Newton County Sheriff’s Office and the Covington Police Department.

The first arrest of 44-year-old Todd Anthony Dean came around 11 p.m. on Sept. 4. Officers from the Covington Police Department were called by loss prevention employees at Walmart on Industrial Boulevard, who reported that a man had just left the store without paying for merchandise, and was driving away in a Honda Accord.

Officers were given the license plate number of the Honda, and were able to pull the vehicle over in the Martin’s Crossing shopping center on U.S. Highway 278. Dean was arrested and charged with theft by shoplifting. The items taken – underwear, a cellphone mount, a CD carrying case, socks, a knife set and a set of vehicle headlights – were returned to Walmart, according to CPD Lt. Al Miller.

Dean was released at 7:53 a.m. on Sept. 5. Around 6 p.m. that evening, deputies from the NCSO were called to Bell’s Grocery on Brown Bridge Road, where an employee reported that a man had been shoplifting inside the store and had just left in a Honda Accord. The employee gave officers the license plate number.

According to NCSO Public Information Officer Cortney Morrison, the employee told deputies that she saw a man walk around the store, pick up items off the shelves, and then leave the store in a hurry. A BOLO (Be On The Look-out) was issued for the car, and CPD was able to stop the vehicle and take the driver back to Bell’s, where the NCSO was waiting.

The employee identified Dean as the man who had taken two packages of glow sticks and a bottle of sriracha sauce. He was once again arrested on theft by shoplifting charges and taken to the Newton County Jail.

Alleged thief does an about-face
A 24-year-old Covington man was arrested Wednesday after reportedly stealing money and possessing illegal drugs.
Officers from the Covington Police Department spoke with a woman who said that she had $340 stolen from her while she was inside the Big EZ store on Washington Street. She reportedly told officers there were only two people in her car where the money was located at the time: a woman, and 24-year-old Charles Chance Pickett. The victim said she had the money because she had cashed her son’s disability check earlier in the day.

When officers spoke with Pickett and the woman in the victim’s car, they reportedly said they had not seen anyone around the vehicle. They also allegedly said they had nothing illegal on them, and Pickett said officers could search him, according to reports.

Although Pickett had reportedly told officers he had nothing illegal on him, they found 10 loose pills, later identified as Clonazepam. He allegedly told officers he was holding the pills for a friend. Also in his pocket was a rolled-up condom wrapper, but no money.

Officers asked Pickett if he knew anything about the missing money and he originally said he did not, according to reports.

However, once inside a patrol car, he reportedly told officers that he took the money and that it was rolled in a condom that was hidden in his backside.

He retrieved it for the officers, and the officers returned it to the victim. It was $70 short of the amount stolen.

Pickett reportedly told officers that he felt bad for taking the money, because the victim had four children at home, one of whom was disabled.