Posts on Jan 1970

DPD Makes Arrest In Theft, Fraud Case

Thanks in part to tips from the public, this morning the Dalton Police Department arrested a woman who stole a woman’s purse and used her credit card to make fraudulent purchases.  20 year old Linda Nguyen of Crandall surrendered to authorities this morning after an investigation led detectives to obtain a warrant for her arrest.

The original incident happened on October 25th at the TJ Maxx on West Walnut Avenue.  At approximately 5:30 pm, Nguyen and another woman entered the store and Nguyen took a purse that had been mislaid by the victim.  Nguyen and the other woman then left the store with the purse.  Investigators have determined that the other woman was not involved with the theft or the credit card fraud. 

Investigators published surveillance pictures of the incident online and in area media outlets on November 20th. Multiple tips from the public led investigators to contact Nguyen and eventually seek warrants for her arrest on charges of theft of lost or mislaid property, financial transaction card fraud, financial identity fraud, and forgery in the 1st degree.

The Dalton Police Department thanks all media outlets who ran the story, and thanks all of the people who contacted investigators regarding the case.

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Operation Click It Or Ticket Underway Nationwide

Statics show that more than half of all traffic fatalities could be avoided if motorists would just buckle up. To try to reduce the number of serious injuries in crashes during the Thanksgiving travel period, the Dalton Police Department is joining law enforcement agencies across the country in the Click It or Ticket campaign. The nationwide mobilization began November 18th and will run through Sunday, December 1st.  

The Thanksgiving holiday travel period which is traditionally one of the heaviest travel weekends of the year. Click It or Ticket is intended to educate motorists that the proper use of seatbelts saves lives.

The Dalton Police Department's Traffic Enforcement Unit and Patrol Division will be conducting special operations to enforce Georgia’s occupant safety laws during the Thanksgiving Holiday period.  Officers will be using road checks and concentrated patrols as tools to spot motorists violating the safety belt and child restraint laws in an effort to limit the number of serious injury or fatality car crashes. More than 55% of traffic fatalities could have been prevented with the use of safety belts.

Motorists are reminded that any front seat passenger of any passenger vehicle, including pickup trucks, in operation on highways of Georgia must wear a seatbelt.  Any passenger of a vehicle under 18 years of age must wear a seatbelt no matter where they are seated in the vehicle, and all children under the age of 8 years must be placed in an approved Child Safety Restraint.  Motorists should also be aware that not wearing a seatbelt correctly with the shoulder belt across the chest will not give the passenger any protection if the vehicle that they are an occupant of is involved in a crash.

As always, the Dalton Police Department is asking all motorists to, Slow Down, Buckle Up, and Drive Sober to make this a safe Thanksgiving Holiday.

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Phone Scam Warning

Investigators with the Dalton Police Department are warning the public not to fall for a phone scam involving their power bill.  This is not a new scam, but it appears to be popping back up in the Dalton area.

In recent weeks, the DPD has received reports from Dalton residents getting phone calls from scammers claiming to be representatives of Dalton Utilities.  The scammer tells the potential victim that their power bill is past due and that crews are on their way to shut off their service.  The scammer then instructs the victim to purchase a “Green Dot” prepaid credit card and load it with money to pay the bill to avoid the shut off. 

Dalton Utilities officials say they would never ask a customer to load a “Green Dot” card for paying a bill. If you get a call requesting that type of payment, it’s a scam. Anyone in doubt about a phone call regarding their bill can hang up and then contact Dalton Utilities directly at 706-278-1313 to verify the information. 

If you think you may have been a victim of this scam, contact the Dalton Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division at 706-278-9085, extension 250.

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DPD Seeks Suspect In Purse Thef

UPDATE (11/27/2013): An arrest has been made in this case thanks to tips from the public. The DPD thanks all media outlets who ran this story and all the people who called in to investigators.

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help with identifying a woman who stole a woman’s purse and used her bank cards to make fraudulent purchases.

The incident happened on October 25th at the TJ Maxx on West Walnut Avenue.  At approximately 5:30 PM two women entered the store together and one of the women stole a purse that was left unattended in a shopping cart.  The suspect, who wore a purple top and had long dark hair, then left the store with the other woman.  The victim’s bank cards were used shortly afterwards at the Marathon station at 3000 Walnut Avenue to make a $30 purchase.  The stolen purse was a $400 gold Coach bag.  In addition to the victim’s wallet and bank cards, the purse also contained prescription Polo sunglasses, a brown leather Fossil wallet, and the victim’s ID cards. 

Below: Surveillance images of the two women.  The woman in the purple top stole a purse from a victim's shopping cart

TJ Maxx Theft 1 TJ Maxx Theft 2

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DPD Officer Honored With Bronze Star For Military Service

Dalton police officer Brian Early isn’t one to brag about his achievements at his “other” job in the Georgia National Guard. That’s why it took a few months before his fellow police officers learned Early was honored back in the summer with a Bronze Star following his most recent deployment to Afghanistan as part of the Georgia National Guard's 179th Military Police (MP) Company.

Fortunately, his wife Sonja isn’t as shy.

In the days leading up to the Dalton Police Department’s annual Veterans Day Lunch to honor the agency’s military personnel, Mrs. Early contacted event organizer Captain Tom Phillips to tell him of the honor for Officer Early (known to the National Guard as Staff Sergeant Brian Early). When Captain Phillips announced the honor to Early’s fellow veterans with the Dalton Police Department the news came as a surprise.

Early Medal

“I first heard about the award the day before,” said Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker. “I was really proud for him, but after thinking about his demeanor, I was not surprised. Officer Early has had several deployments over the last few years, and although he would rather be here with his family, he was ready to go there.”

SSG Early started his third Middle East deployment in October 2012 serving as a squad leader and he was later promoted to Platoon Sergeant.  The promotion meant being responsible for making sure his military police platoon was always ready to take on a variety of missions.

“We call MP ‘multi-purpose’ because of all the different jobs we do,” SSG Early said, explaining his platoon’s role as part of the Western Kabul Base Cluster Quick Reaction Force (QRF). The QRF is tasked with being ready to respond to any situation in the area within minutes.

“Our job is to be ready within 15 minutes’ notice any time of the day 24/7 to go to respond to an incident,” SSG Early said. “We had to be ready for anything whether it was bombs, bomb threats, attacks, just depending on whatever was going on.”

The QRF’s role included rapid response to any situation in the Kabul Base Cluster area, convoy support, personal security details for high-ranking officers, high rise building assessments and more.  Under SSG Early’s leadership, the QRF never missed a departure time and never missed responding within its assigned 15 minute window. According to a narrative provided by the Army, SSG Early was also instrumental in developing and planning the QRF’s movements and also planning and submitting briefings on convoy operations to his commanders.

SSG Early also served as patrol leader for more than 60 missions outside of his duties with the QRF.

“We were constantly on the road doing what we called ‘rocket box patrol’ which is where we go out and check the area to see if anyone was setting up rockets to attack the bases with,” Early said, detailing some of the various duties his platoon would take on. “Or we would go out on rescue missions to help people who were having problems.” Early In Car 2

When asked what he’s most proud of, though, there’s no hesitation. During its deployment, the 179th Military Police Company did not lose a member. 

“That, to me, is the big thing,” Early said. “I took my platoon of 20 people and nobody died. We had a couple injuries and … we sent a couple of guys home to get fixed. But that was my best thing, making sure that I lost nobody.”

The Bronze Star is the fourth highest individual honor bestowed by the United States military.  It is awarded for acts of merit or acts of valor. SSG Early was told by one of his lieutenants that he was being considered for the award as the deployment began to wind down, and then received the honor in a ceremony marking the end of the mission. Early says that he’s proud of being recognized with the Bronze Star and pleased to have his hard work noticed by his commanders.

This is Early’s second military career.  Before moving to Dalton from his native Ohio to work for Shaw and later the police department, he served an active duty tour with the Air Force.  Early was inspired to join the Georgia National Guard after 9/11. While Officer Early has enjoyed his deployments (once to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan), he’s happy to be home and does not expect to be sent overseas again.

“I don’t think we’re taking any more trips, but you never say never,” Early said.

With Officer Early’s return in July, the Dalton Police Department once again has all of its military reserve personnel back home and back on duty. Between 2003 and 2012, the department often had as many as five officers deployed at the same time. 

“We have about 25 military veterans in the department, and many have seen combat action in the last two decades,” said Chief Parker, who is a veteran of the Army.  “I feel humbled to work alongside them.”

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DPD Honors Agency’s Military Veterans

For the second straight year, the Dalton Police Department marked Veterans' Day with a luncheon to honor the agency's military veterans.  The DPD has 25 officers with and support staff who served in the military, including some who are still serving in the reserves.

Monday's lunch was hosted at The Engine Room restaurant on Waring Road.  After opening remarks from Chief Jason Parker, who is a US Army veteran, the officers were led in an invocation by Army veteran and DPD Chaplain Thomas McCranie.  After lunch, US Navy Captain James Poston spoke to the veterans. Captain Poston told stories of his deployments in Afghanistan and talked about the sacrifices made by military veterans.

The luncheon wrapped up with the presentation of gifts to each veteran officer, a patch from his or her branch of the military.  Sixteen Dalton officers in all served in the United States Army.  Five more officers served in the US Air Force, and four officers served in the United States Marine Corps.  

Below: Some of the Dalton Police Department's military veterans stand together with US Navy Captain James Poston after a luncheon honoring their service on Veterans' Day

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DPD Arrests Six In Credit Card Forgery Cases

The Dalton Police Department has
arrested and charged six individuals in the past week on charges of identity
card theft, financial transaction card fraud, and financial transaction card
forgery.  In each case, suspects used
cloned credit cards to purchase cigarettes and gift cards from Dalton area
Kroger stores.

Frantz Raphel LaMarre, 24, and
DeShawn Gregory Orr, 22, were arrested on October 28th and charged
with identity theft, and financial transaction card fraud.  Orr and LaMarre list addresses in the state
of New York.  Forest Park, Georgia
residents Olivia Nicole Clark, 18, Ladaveon Alshawn Brown, 21, Shabeyon Shamone
Newsome, 24, and Nicholas Elijah Trammell, 18, were all arrested on November 2nd.
They were booked on charges of forgery of a financial transaction card, and conspiracy
to commit a felony. Ms. Clark was also charged with possession of marijuana and
crossing the guard line of the jail with drugs after Whitfield County deputies found
the contraband on her person during intake into the jail.

On October 28th, the
Dalton Police Department was contacted by an investigator from the Woodfin
Police Department in Woodfin, North Carolina regarding a credit card fraud
case.  On October 25th, a
Woodfin resident had her credit card information fraudulently used at the
Kroger on West Walnut Avenue.  An officer
went to the store to investigate, retrieving surveillance video from the transactions
and also talking to a store manager who reported that there had been several suspicious
gift card purchases in recent days with people buying multiple gift cards.  While the investigation at Walnut Avenue was
underway, managers at the Kroger on Glenwood Avenue called police to report a
suspect attempting to use a stolen credit card to purchase gift cards.  Officers responding met the suspects, Frantz
LaMarre and DeShawn Orr, as they attempted to leave the store.  Both individuals were in possession of multiple
cards which appeared to be gift cards, but were later found to have magnetic
strips cloned to match stolen credit card numbers.  Officers determined that LaMarre and Orr were
also involved with the multiple purchases of gift cards at the West Walnut
Avenue location. They were driving a black Hyundai Genesis.

On November 2nd, the
manager at the Glenwood Avenue Kroger store called police to report that four
individuals were attempting to buy multiple gift cards at his store and that
the purchases appeared suspicious.  The
manager reported that the suspects were leaving in a white F-150 and responding
officers were able to pull them over approximately a mile away.  The store manager reported that he’d observed
two male suspects, identified on video as Nicholas Trammell and Ladaveon Brown,
take a stack of gift cards to the self-checkout where they attempted to pay by
swiping multiple gift cards which did not appear to be working. They were able
to successfully complete two transactions but were denied on seven others.  The cards they used appeared to be gift
cards, but registered as credit cards.  A
female suspect, later identified as Shabeyon Newsome, appeared to be acting as
a lookout and the three suspects left the store when questioned by store
workers. Brown, Newsome, and Trammell were all in the Ford F-150 together and Olivia
Clark was driving.  After they were
arrested, investigators obtained a search warrant for their vehicle and found multiple
gift cards which were cloned with stolen card information.

Detectives are still investigating
these cases to determine how many fraudulent purchases were made and how many
victims may have had their credit card information stolen.  Investigators believe that there are other
suspects operating in the region using the same type of scheme. Store owners
should be on the lookout for customers attempting to use multiple credit cards
to make purchases of items such as gift cards and multiple cartons of
cigarettes, especially in self-checkout lines. Retailers should ask for
identification of people making credit card purchases to match the name of the
customer to the name on the card. Anyone with information regarding these cases
or similar instances of fraud is asked to contact Detective Jason Bishop at
706-278-9085, ex. 214. 

Below (from L to R): Arrestees Ladaveon Brown, Olivia Clark, Frantz LaMarre, Shabeyon Newsome, DeShawn Orr, and Nicholas Trammell. 

Brown_Ledavion_Alshawn
Clark_Olivia_Nicole
Lamarre_Frantz_Raphel
Newsome_Shaveyon_ShamoneOrr_Deshawn_GregoryTrammell_Nicholas_Elijah

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