A Toccoa man found that it’s hard to develop a credible alibi when the video surveillance system clearly records a crime.
Commerce police charged Roberto Casemero Yearwood, 36, of 742 Mize Road, Toccoa, with theft by taking after he allegedly pocketed a smart phone owned by the owner of Skate-A-Rama, Hospital Road.
The owner, a 33-year-old white male, told police he had laid his phone on a bench by the front door while he was trimming weeds. When he was done, he noticed the phone missing.
The victim looked over the surveillance tapes and saw a man pick up the phone and put it in his pocket. He told police he got another employee and the two confronted the man, who denied taking the phone — even after the owner told him about the surveillance video.
The owner escorted Yearwood to the office, and when the employee called 911, the owner played the video for Yearwood. At that time, the owner said, Yearwood claimed he found the phone and was waiting for the opportunity to return it to the owner. When he was advised that the police were on the way, the victim said, Yearwood put the phone on the counter and walked away.
When police arrived, an officer viewed the video and talked to Yearwood, who said he’d found the phone and was “holding onto it until he saw an employee that matched the description of” the employee who, with the owner, had confronted Yearwood. The officer noted that in the video, that employee was within 20 feet of Yearwood when he pocketed the phone, and that Yearwood had another opportunity to return the phone when the two men confronted him.
Commerce police issued charges against the following people during the past week:
•Starsha Topreme Dixon, 31, 1060 Sterling Court, Norcross, picked up at the Gwinnett County Jail on a warrant for failure to appear.
•Chester Morrison, 30, 105 Historic Homer Highway, Homer, picked up from a Banks County deputy at Walmart on a failure to appear warrant for an original charge of running a stop sign. The report noted that Morrison called a friend, who came in and paid the fine, and Morrison was released.
•Joseph Lee Hollis, 19, 373 Woodpecker Lane, Nicholson, speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol. The officer reported clocking Hollis doing 70 in a 55-mile-per-hour zone on the bypass. He said when he approached the vehicle, he noted Hollis’ bloodshot and watery eyes and noticed the smell of alcohol. He said when he asked Hollis if he’d been drinking, the suspect replied, “I don’t drink. I have never drank in my life. I swear on my mother’s grave.” After Hollis testified positive for alcohol, flunked a field sobriety test and refused a chemical breath test, the officer issued the DUI charge.