COVINGTON, Ga. - Covington Police Department arrested the man they believe is responsible for at least four of the eight restaurant and retail shop burglaries that occurred between Sunday, June 23 and Monday, July 8.
On Thursday, July 11, CPD Officer Christian Jimenez noticed “a male with grey shorts and a white T-shirt fastly peddling a pink bike” along Industrial Boulevard, according to the CPD incident report. Jimenez parked his patrol vehicle in a nearby parking lot to observe the male.
The incident report stated that the male noticed Jimenez and got off the pink bike, tossed it 10 feet from the road and began walking towards Walmart. According to the incident report, the male put on a white hoodie.
“With my experience, training and knowledge, I found the activity to be suspicious as if the male didn’t want to be seen with the bike,” Jimenez reported. It was noted the male was wearing clothing that matched most of the attire worn by the burglary suspect.
Jimenez approached the man, identified as Christopher Demond Lee, who reportedly said he was going to Walmart to purchase tampons for his girlfriend, according to the incident report. According to the report, Lee only had $5 and a red bandana in his pocket.
The pink bike, that was ditched by Lee, matched the description of a bike that was reported stolen and previously recovered. The bicycle was “a Pink Huffy bike with a basket on the handles, white tires and had writing on the seat that said ‘Cooper’s Bike.’”
Lee was charged with loitering and prowling, according to the incident report, and was transported to the Newton County Law Enforcement Center.
Jimenez noted in the incident report that Lee asked him “if [he] knew how burglary alarms worked and if [they] get notifications on [their] computers when the burglary alarms go off.” He did not respond to the questions asked.
According to CPD Capt. Ken Malcom, Lee was later charged with four counts of burglary.
As of Tuesday, July 16, CPD has not been able to confirm Lee was involved in the other four burglaries.
Burglary History: Tuesday, June 25
CPD Officer Brandon Davis was dispatched to Covington Package, located at 6136 Monticello St. SW., in response to a burglary alarm. Upon arrival, Davis and the complainant, Elija Dwaram, observed the shattered glass on the front door of the business, according to the CPD incident report.
“The glass on the front door was broken with a large hole in the glass beside the lock, and the door was unlocked,” according to the report. “The building was searched and no one was found inside.”
According to the report, both cash registers were open with the contents gone.
The video footage showed “a male wearing a white ski mask, black jacket, dark-colored pants, orange and white gloves and an orange T-shirt” approach the building, according to the incident report.
The male disappeared from the camera’s view but returned at 3:18 a.m., holding a hammer, and hit the door “several times breaking the glass and leaving a hole in the door,” according to the report. It as noted that the male grabbed two boxed of Ciroc Apple ($400), cash from the registers ($700) and a box of Mountain Dew ($20). The male left the store at 3:21 a.m., but he returned at 3:23 a.m. to grab two more bottles of Mountain Dew ($4).
The total amount stolen from Covington Package was $1,124 with $300 worth of damage to the front door.
Wednesday, June 26
CPD Officer Brian Shockley was dispatched to Citi Trends, located at 3205 Elm St. NE., in response to a burglary alarm. Upon arrival, Shockley noticed “a window on the south facing side of the building busted out, and a large rock sitting on the ground at the base of the busted window,” according to the CPD incident report.
CPD Officer Marquis Johnson arrived at the scene and helped clear the building.
The complainant, Terrica Howard, arrived and confirmed four pair of shorts ($60) and four tees ($40) were taken from a display, according to the incident report.
The video footage showed “a person dressed in dark clothing walking in front of the main door at 1:17 a.m., from the east side of the building,” according to the report. The same person ran back to the main door, seconds later, towards the east side of the building. It was also reported the person did not enter the main portion of the store.
Saturday, June 29
CPD Stacy Cosby was dispatched to Applebee’s, located at 5176 U.S. Highway 278 NW., in response to a burglary.
Upon arrival, Cosby met Sharaya Hill, opening manager, who informed him of an outside window and an office door window had been busted, according to the CPD incident report. It was reported Hill informed Cosby the lockbox was stolen out of the office.
CPD was given access to the video footage, which showed “at approximately 4:02 a.m., a black male walked from the woods, behind Bojangles, and walked up to the window,” according to the incident report. It was reported that the male threw a rock at the window, breaking it, and proceeded to the office where the lockbox was stolen.
The total amount in the lockbox was $1,601.16, according to the incident report.
Friday, July 5
CPD Officer Matthew Torres was dispatched to Church’s Fried Chicken, located at 3275 U.S. Highway 278 NE., in response to a burglary. Upon arrival, Torres met with the complainant, Pabler Cobb, according to the CPD incident report. It was reported that Cobb informed Torres that the drive-thru window and the front door had been broken.
CPD Officer Aaron Malcolm helped Torres clear the building.
According to the incident report, two out of three front desk registers had been taken - the one not taken had never been used. It was reported that no money in the registers was taken.
The video footage could not be obtained because “Church’s security cameras were not working at the time of the incident,” the incident report said.
It was reported that the incident occurred on Thursday, July 4 between 11 p.m. and 7:05 a.m.
Saturday, July 6
CPD Officer Matthew Torres was dispatched to Butcher Block, located at 6171 U.S. Highway 278 NE., in response to a burglary. Upon arrival, Torres met with the complainant, Belinda Cerda, according to the CPD incident report. It was reported Cerda informed Torres the glass front door had been broken.
According to the incident report, nothing was stolen from the business.
Cerda noticed that the register had been opened at 3:30 a.m.; however, “no footage is available,” the incident report said.
The damages to the business estimated $500, according to the incident report.
CPD Aaron Malcolm was dispatched to Dollar General, located at 7118 U.S. Highway 278 NE., in response to a burglary. Upon arrival, Malcolm met with the complainant, Josiah Mhute, according to the CPD incident report.
Malcolm was told “nothing appeared to have been taken” because the registers had been emptied before the burglary occurred, according to the incident report.
It was reported that a can of Arctic Freeze Synthetic Refrigerant (Freon) had been in the parking lot. Cera believed “the suspect shot something at the window to break in,” the incident report said.
The video footage showed an “unidentified male suspect” approach the store with “a backpack on the front of his torso,” the incident report said. It also said that “a clear visual of the suspect was captured.”
The male was described to be between “5-foot 8 inches to 5-foot 11 inches, athletic build with thin legs,” according to the incident report. “In the video, he is seen wearing a black hoody/hooded jacket, black drop skinny sweatpants with three to four thin white lines down both legs and grey tennis shoes.”
Sunday, July 7
CPD Officer Quinn Pitts was dispatched to Covington Auto Sales, located at 4225 U.S. Highway 278 NE., in response to a burglary.
The complainant, John Richardson, stated he had returned to the business after being out of town, according to the CPD incident report. It was reported that Richardson locked up the business on Sunday, June 23 and returned on Sunday, July 7 to the “right front door kicked in at the bottom right corner,” the incident report said.
Pitts advised Richardson to call back if he noticed anything missing, according to the incident report.
Monday, July 8
CPD Sgt. Allan Seebaran was conducting building checks when he was approached by a male, who informed him that he noticed the Hardee’s drive-thru window had been broken when he dropped his son off for work.
According to the CPD incident report, Seebaran arrived at the business, located at 3112 U.S. Highway 278 NW, and met with Joshua Ladella Clemons, store manager who “stated he arrived for work at approximately 3:52 a.m. and noticed the drive-thru window had been broken and entry into the building had been made.”
Seebaran and CPD Officer Ryan Barrett cleared the building and noticed the cash registers had been taken, according to the incident report.
The video footage showed “a tall male (approximately 6-foot 1-inch tall) break the drive-thru glass window with a claw hammer," the incident report said. It was reported the male reached through the window, took the cash register and left.
The male was “wearing a white ski mask, white long sleeve shirt, white gloves and light-colored pants,” the incident report said.
Prior to the incident, Barrett had noticed a male, matching that description, sitting in the patio area at Dunkin Donuts, according to the incident report.
It was also reported that Seebaran recalled observing a man, matching that description, running out of Turner Lake Complex and into a wooded area behind Foot Depot Shopping Center on Sunday, July 7. Seebaran was responding to an assault call at the time.