Everyone should be wary of allowing strangers in their home, as a local disabled man just learned, along with the fact that just because someone appears to be handicapped, doesn’t mean they aren’t bad news.
On Sunday September 17, officers with the LaGrange Police Department responded to the Big Lots store on Commerce Avenue in reference a loud verbal dispute involving a male with a wheelchair.
Officers arrived and made contact with the complainant, who pointed out that the other subject had just ran into the woods behind the store.
The complainant stated that the other male, later identified as Donald Lamar Pruitt, had stolen two wheelchair batteries while at his home working on his wheelchair.
The victim, a disabled amputee, explained that Pruitt told him he could fix his wheelchair at his residence, so he agreed to take him to his house to fix it. The victim stated that he has seen Pruitt throughout town riding in his wheelchair, so he thought it would be safe to take him to his house and allow him to fix it.
After the wheelchair was fixed he took Pruitt back to Commerce Avenue and dropped him off. The victim later discovered that Pruitt had stolen two wheelchair batteries, valued at $150 each.
The victim stated he did not report the theft because he did not know Pruitt’s name at the time. He stated that when he spotted Pruitt today, he confronted him about the theft and Pruitt actually had one of the batteries in his possession and gave it back to him.
The victim advised that Pruitt abandoned his own wheelchair and ran into the woods.
In the meantime, additional offices located Pruitt in the woods and he was taken into custody for the theft.
While placing Pruitt under arrest, officers noticed a prescription pill bottle lying on the ground near his feet. The bottle was then found to have Pruitt’s name on it, but instead of the medication on the label, it contained an amount of suspected crystal methamphetamine.
Pruitt later admitted the bottle was his and that it contained methamphetamine. Pruitt also admitted to taking the batteries.
Police then escorted Pruitt to a location on New Franklin Road, where officers located and recovered the second battery from a small shed.
As a result, Pruitt, age 60, was arrested and transported to the Troup County Sheriff’s Office where he was booked into the jail charged with Possession of Methamphetamine and Theft by Taking.
Pruitt was later released from the Troup County Jail on $3,000 bond.