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Shoplifter leaders officer on foot race

The following incidents are taken from Richmond Hill Police Department reports:

March 29
• Police were sent to the gas pumps at Kroger around 1:30 a.m. regarding $100 taken from a wallet. The complainant said he left his wallet on the silver counter attached to the walk window while he pumped his gas, and when it was returned to him the money was missing.
The clerk said a man turned it in and that while she didn’t see him “physically take the money … (she) saw him messing with something on the counter, after which he turned in the wallet.”
Police were given a description of the man who turned in the wallet and the car he left in. The victim said he would prosecute should the man be found.
Video showed someone at the counter “reach with his right hand to something on the counter and then place something in his pocket but no clear depiction as to what.”
• An officer working traffic on Interstate 95 shortly before midnight clocked a car doing 53 mph and following close behind a semi. He pulled behind the car and noticed the car “in a weaving motion back and forth.” The officer turned on his lights. The stop led to about four pages worth of police report.
“The suspect vehicle continued to traveling in lane 1 and did not respond to my emergency lights. Near the 91 (mile marker), approximately one mile after activating my emergency lights, I activated my siren. The suspect vehicle slowly reacted, then came to a hard stop on the median strip of GA 405. The final braking was so extreme that the rear end of the suspect vehicle lifted approximately six inches as the front end nose-dived drastically,” the report says.
The officer let dispatch know of the stop, then got out. He smelled marijuana. “The driver (a woman) stated they were looking for some area to pull off and rest. The odor of marijuana was extremely pungent from the passenger area of the vehicle.”
There were passengers in the car, a man and a 6-year-old girl. “I observed a small child in (the back seat), improperly restrained,” the officer reported. The woman then told him she was from Jacksonville, Florida, and was heading to Wal-Mart.
“I asked if a Wal-Mart in Savannah. (She) stated yes, because the passenger informed her of a big sale.”
Backup had arrived by this point, and both the driver and the man were asked to get out. The man was covered in marijuana “shake” but denied there was any on him or in the car. A search found “a plastic baggie of marijuana … between the cushions of (the passenger’s) seat. Marijuana shake was throughout the vehicle, along with the distinct white ash commonly associated with burning marijuana,” the report says.
An officer read both adults their Miranda rights, and both denied having any marijuana.
A check of the woman’s license showed it was valid. The car information also was valid. The passenger, however, was suspected of giving police false information “to deter law enforcement investigations.” He was arrested.
Police then gave the woman sobriety tests. She failed all of them, the report says. She was arrested for DUI drugs.
The child was taken to a patrol car to be near her mother. The Department of Family and Children Services was called, and the mother and child were taken to RHPD. Bryan County EMS took a blood sample from the mother. The vehicle was towed.
The passenger also was taken to RHPD; then he and the woman were taken to Bryan County jail for booking. An officer was able to contact the child’s grandmother, and she said she’d come up from Jacksonville to get the girl. In the meantime, a DFCS worker came to pick up the child at around 5:20 a.m.
The marijuana — three grams — was put into the evidence locker, the report says.
• A man had to be threatened with getting Tasered before he’d stop running from police after they responded to a shoplifting call at the Dollar General on Highway 17.
The incident started when an officer was sent to the Dollar General around
8:20 p.m. “to a report of a white male shoplifter that was still in the store,” according to the beginning of the narrative in a four-page incident report.
The officer arrived, turned on his car’s dashboard camera and his body camera, made note that a car parked in front of the store “has been associated with criminal activity throughout multiple incidents that I have detailed,” and called dispatch to provide that information.
As backup arrived, the reporting officer went into the store and talked to an employee, who pointed him to the suspect. That man “obviously noticed my presence and began hastily walking towards the rear of the store with a shopping basket and other items in his hands,” the officer reported. “I approached (the man) and requested to speak with him. (The man) immediately began running down one of the aisles toward the north wall of the store. I could hear items hitting the floor and as I followed (the man) down the aisle I noticed his hands were brushing against the shelves in what appeared to be an effort to dispense items that he was carrying.”
The man then dropped his shopping basket and ran out of the store, and the officer followed.  The man “began running around the south side of the store towards Mulberry subdivision. (He) was hastily running and was obviously attempting to elude me.”
The officer told dispatch he was in “a foot pursuit towards Mulberry Subdivision. I noticed (the man’s) hands appeared to be empty and I immediately drew my X-26 Taser and began giving verbal commands (for the man to stop). I informed (the man) if he would not stop I would deploy my Taser,” the report says.
The man stopped. “(He) immediately threw himself to the ground in a surrender position.”
The man was restrained and searched, and police found “a black LG T-Mobile smartphone with a cracked screen, a green handle set of wire cutters, a black and silver pocket knife, an open tube of chap stick and 5 BIC lighters (green, brown, purples, blue and black) in his pocket.”
The man was put into a patrol car and interviewed. The stuff he’d dropped in the store was gathered up — candles, shears, a “green hose spray gun” and some deodorant — and the man, who denied taking anything, was eventually cited with criminal trespass and taken to jail on other charges.
• Police arrested a South Carolina man for DUI and open container after his SUV was reported to be “all over the road” on I-95 around 2:45 a.m.
The man was stopped around mile marker 87 on I-95 north, and the officer immediately spotted four open beer bottles on the floor board.
The man was charged with DUI after he failed a field sobriety test. He refused to take a breath test at the station. While inventorying his vehicle, the officer found four empty Michelob Ultras, two pints of Smirnoff Ice,  two 24-ounce cans of Michelob Ultra, one 250-milliliter bottle of Friends Moscato, a half-empty bottle of Ultra and a full 24-ounce can of the beer.

March 28
• A Richmond Hill man was arrested for DUI after a wild incident Saturday afternoon on Highway 17.
It began when police were sent to the scene of a hit-and-run accident at the intersection of highways 144 and 17 around 4:20 p.m., but were told on the way the “offending vehicle had fled the scene and was being pursued by the victim,” a report says.
“Moments later dispatch advised that there was a second vehicle that had been struck by the offender and that vehicle too was engaged in the pursuit. As I was about to turn onto (144) westbound from (17) northbound, dispatch advised that all three vehicles were now parked at the A-1 motel and “things were about to get ugly.’”
The reporting officer turned on his lights and siren “made a U-turn, and proceeded to the A-1 motel in a Code 3 mode,” the report says. “As I passed Harrison’s gas station I was told by dispatch that one of the subjects involved in the hit and run had a gun.”
The officer saw the three vehicles parked near one another in the motel parking lot. One of the drivers spotted the officer and tried to drive away in an SUV, but he was “quickly pursued by a driver in a white (pickup).”
The two drivers were eventually blocked in by police officers, two of whom drew weapons during the incident, the report says, after the driver of both the SUV and the pickup got out of their vehicles.
“I took cover behind my engine block, withdrew my service weapon from its holster, assumed a low ready stance, and gave loud verbal commands of ‘show me your hands’ to the driver of the (SUV),” the reporting officer wrote. “(Another officer), who was now on scene, covered the driver of the (pickup) with his service weapon.”
Both drivers followed police instructions. The reporting officer wrote that as he did a pat-down of the SUV driver, he smelled an “overwhelming odor, consistent with that of an alcoholic beverage, coming from (the man).”
The man later blew .256 and .254 on breath tests at RHPD and as charged with open container and DUI by RHPD.
But before that, police learned the two hit-and-run accidents occurred in Chatham County, and the others involved in the incident, whose vehicles were apparently hit by the SUV driver, were “referred to the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department to have their accidents reported. They were given my case number and (the SUV driver’s) information to take with them.”
An inventory of the SUV found a cooler of beer, and a nearly empty bottle of gin, but no weapon.  
The man was taken to jail.
• An officer was sent to the station around noon to take a report from a man who claimed his ex-wife wasn’t allowing him access to his children as required in a court order. The officer got the man’s side of the story, then informed him it was a civil matter, “therefore the best I could do for him was to write a matter of record report that he could take to his attorney or the judge. (The man) was disappointed but said he understood. He was given a case number and told how to obtain a copy of the report.
The officer then called the woman.
“I introduced myself and explained to her that (her ex-husband) had just filed a police report, and for the report to be fair, it must contain her side of the story,” the officer wrote. “(The woman) was immediately hostile and contentious and it only went downhill from there.”
The woman “started yelling at me, stating that her son had a black eye and that she didn’t care what the court papers said and she didn’t care what police said, (her ex-husband) was not going to talk to his kids. Further, she stated if the police don’t arrest (her ex-husband) on Monday, she is going to show up on the front steps of the police department with 50 news crews. (The woman) then admonished me to ‘Put that in your (deleted) report!’ (The woman) then hung up on me before I could respond.’”

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