If you’re going to try to break into cars, maybe check to make sure the vehicle is unoccupied first otherwise you’re probably going to be arrested. That’s exactly what happened last week after a teen attempted to break into an occupied vehicle and then proceeded to continue pulling on the door handles of several more vehicles outside a local supermarket.
On November 21 about 7:14 p.m., officers with the LaGrange Police Department responded to the Publix supermarket on Commerce Avenue in reference to reports of a subject attempting to illegally enter vehicles in the parking lot.
While en route, police were advised that the suspect was leaving the area towards the Big Lots parking lot and he was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and a yellow hat.
Officers arrived in the area and spotted the male just as described, wearing the yellow hat and red hoodie. The subject was also observed to be with a young female dressed in all black. By the time officers were able to approach the subjects, the male was no longer wearing the yellow hat. Later while identifying the subjects, officers noticed the yellow hat exposed with the male subject’s front shirt pocket.
The male, later identified as Jiovatti K. Jennings, consented to a search of his person during which an unknown plastic item fell from his pants leg. Police retrieved the item and asked Jennings what it was and he responded that it was the remote to his car stereo. Further examination revealed the item was actually a digital tire pressure gauge.
Due to the possibly stolen item falling from his pants leg that he had no idea what the item was and the previous 911 call, officers detained the suspects until they could further investigate.
Police later made contact with the original complainant, who advised he observed the male pull on the handles of several cars in the Publix lot. He stated he was unsure if the subject had every successfully entered any vehicles.
The complainant stated he was startled when Jennings attempted to open the car door while he was inside, but he was unable to open the locked door. He stated he then observed Jennings pulling on the door handles of four additional vehicles before heading toward Big Lots. The witness also positively identified Jennings as the subject he saw pulling on the door handles, however, Jennings denied the entire incident.
The female subject with Jennings was identified as a 16-year-old juvenile and she was ultimately released without any charges.
As a result, Jennings, age 19, was arrested and transported to the Troup County Sheriff’s Office where he was booked into the jail and charged with five counts of Criminal Attempted Entering Auto.
Jennings was later released from the Troup County Jail on bond.
Tommy Murphy Staff Writer