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Tree bandits strike home
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 Deputies with the Newton County Sheriff's Department are looking for the thieves who stole trees from a yard of a home on Henderson Mill Road on Jan. 14.

 According to the incident report, when the owner was on her way to work, she noticed 11 recently planted trees were missing from her yard. It appeared the thieves walked on the property and pulled the trees out of the ground.

No other property was stolen.

Gun found in empty lot

 City of Covington employees found a handgun in a vacant lot on Brown Street.

 According to the incident report, an employee cleaning up the lot found a brown leather handbag with a .22 caliber gun inside. The bag also contained .22 and .25 caliber bullets.

 Officers with Covington Police Department placed the gun into evidence.

Church falls victim to identity thieves

 Deputies with Newton County Sheriff's Office are searching for identity thieves who stole Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church's account number and forged checks.

 According to the incident report, eight fraudulent checks drawn from Peoples Bank were written between Dec. 12 and Dec. 14. The checks all had the church's account number, but at least six of the checks had a name other than the church.

 The purchases, which included merchandise from Target and Wal-Mart, totaled $1,420.37.