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Stubborn thieves refuse jail reprieve
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Thieves were busy again this weekend stealing more than $38,250 in 18 separate cases.

Air conditioners continue to be popular items, including two units valued at $6,500 and $5,000 a piece. A 2007 Dodge Durango valued at $5,000 was also stolen.

Most of the cases had no suspects and thus resulted in no arrests; however, in one case, the thieves could have avoided jail time by giving back what they took, but they refused to admit wrongdoing.

Karen Barnhardt had allowed Kinsley Lane and James Payton to move into her apartment, but when she returned from vacation, she found her apartment destroyed and several items missing, including her refrigerator, computer and TV, according to a report from the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

Barnhardt led police to a home on West Watson street in Oxford, where Lane and Payton lived, and the two denied taking anything from the house except what they owned.

It wasn't until the sheriff's deputy searched the vehicle on site that he found the missing computer. Both Lane and Payton admitted the computer belonged to Barnhardt but they said she had given it to them.

Reportedly, Barnhardt said she wouldn't send them to jail if they gave her back the rest of her items. Payton then admitted they took a TV, but that was it.

When they refused to admit any further wrongdoing, Barnhardt pressed charges and the two were arrested on felony theft charges and taken to jail. Only the computer and TV were found on site.

Crime briefs

In other crime news, Timothy Aiken returned home to find his pit bull had been shot in the neck. Based on the trail of blood, it appears that the dog had wondered over to a neighbor's back yard, been shot and then attempted to return home. There were no witnesses and no suspects, said sheriff's Lt. Keith Crum.

In Covington, a deer was reportedly hit by a motorist near the intersection of Echols and Emory streets. The responding police officer put the deer out of its misery, and then a passerby stopped and asked to take the animal with him.