A local man is facing several charges after police found him and several other subjects breaking down a vacant residence without valid permission.
Wednesday afternoon about 1:25 p.m., officers with the LaGrange Police Department responded to Mooty Bridge Road in reference to reports of theft.
Officers arrived and spoke to a LaGrange Fire Department firefighter, who advised he was stationed in the area and had observed subjects taking items from a nearby residence. The firefighter advised he was familiar with the property owner, and called her to verify that the subjects were supposed to be at the location. After being told no one should be at the location, the fireman then contacted police.
Police then made contact with three subjects in the driveway of aforementioned residence and they advised that they were all there because Harold Nixon had called them and asked them to come help him. Officers then went inside and found Nixon in the room toward the southwest corner of the residence.
The room where Nixon was found had been stripped down to the studs on both the interior and exterior walls. Nixon then stated that he had spoken to his supposed landlord about the location and he claimed the landlord told him that he could disassemble the residence and use the materials to remodel another residence on Ward Street.
Nixon was unable to provide the supposed landlord’s full name or a phone number for him or where he lived. Nixon also stated he had no way to get in touch with the subject to verify the information he was providing.
Police then spoke to the actual owner of the property, who confirmed that she didn’t give anyone permission to disassemble the home.
While speaking with the owner, police were able to determine that half of a wooden privacy fence was missing and a shed had also been removed from the back yard. The victim also advised a large staircase was missing from the room where Nixon had been found.
The owner advised that the fence had all been there the last time she was at the residence and several No Trespassing signs were posted.
Nixon later stated he had been working at the location for three or four days. He also confirmed that he had called everyone else to the scene to help him and they had not even been to the residence, so they were allowed to leave.
After police were unable to make contact with the supposed landlord and giving Nixon ample opportunity to verify his claims, he was placed under arrest. During a search to arrest, officers located a small hand rolled cigarette in Nixon’s pants pocket that was believed to contain marijuana.
Nixon claimed that the cigarette had come from a pack he found lying on a piece of wood near where he had been sitting.
As a result, Nixon, age 35, was arrested and transported to the Troup County Sheriff’s Office where he was booked into the jail and charged with Criminal Trespass and Possession of Marijuana – Less than an Ounce.
This incident is still under investigation and additional charges are pending.
Tommy Murphy Staff Writer