My question involves police conduct in the State of: Georgia, Yep, good ole Georgia...one of the WORST CORRUPT states in the union!
My story starts well over 18 months ago with a home burglary committed by a family member, who turns out to be related to the Sheriff of our county. Since that time our home has been burglarized well over 12 times! Sometimes, even twice within the same week! Well over $30K in cash, jewelry and property stolen to date!
I had my suspicions about how the sheriff's office was handling our cases and almost from the start we started seeing signs of misconduct. For instance, out of all these burglaries, only ONCE has a detective even come out to our home to try and retrieve any evidence! Back on Dec. 6th 2011. Our home was burglarized and since then we have caught NOTHING but trouble with the Sheriff's office!
Well, this is a long story and with all that has occurred I would have to write a book to tell it all, so bare with me and I don't mind one bit sharing any info if it may help us with our plight and how my family has suffered at the hands of our good ole boy system. First, let's go back to the Dec. 6th incident so you will understand what we have been through and so you can make your own conclusions. Dec. 6th started as I received a phone call from a male asking if I could come tow his vehicle in as he was broke down in Brunswick Ga.? I asked him who he was as he had called my phone on a blocked number? He said his name was Josh and he was given my number by a friend that told him i was a good mechanic. So, I got a description of this car, location and a phone number so I could call him if the need arose. I told Josh that being he was in Brunswick it would take me well over an hour to get to him. He responded by saying he wasn't going no where and would be waiting right there for me. We ended our call and I started getting dressed to go. Now, I haul vehicles on a car trailer and it takes 2 persons to load a car. I didn't have any help that day so I asked my wife to come with me.
As I was putting my shoes on, Josh calls back asking am I coming? I insured him that I was but again it's going to take me over an hour to get to you. He said that's fine but his phone was going dead and that's why he called back. We ended the second call and sometime between the first & second call my nephews truck drives by in front of our home. His truck goes down to my uncles and turns around and comes back by my home. Now, there is 1 way in and out to where we live and although it may not have been unusual for his truck to ride by our home, it surely was for it at that time of the day! So much that as the truck came back by our home I looked out the window to try and see who was in it. It was his wife driving his truck and all this threw up a flag in my head. But, I didn't listen or think too much about it.
We finished getting ready and left to go to my shop to hook up to my trailer.
When we arrived at my shop, I was hooking up to my trailer and this Josh calls back yet again asking..."are you coming, are you coming? Again I said yes, and I asked him... "Why are you calling me so much?" He exclaimed his phone was going dead and this would be his last call as it was beeping now. I insured that I was coming and would be there in about an hour.
I finished hooking up to my trailer and started to pull out from my shop when here come my nephews truck riding by in front of my shop! His wife was driving and she even had the nerve to waive at us! We have had nothing but problems out of that bunch! Matter of fact, they was involved in another one of our home burglaries back in 2007!
That was just too many flags! I started not to go and now I wish so bad that I hadn't but they knew that I put my customers ahead of most everything else and that was why they used this plan! So, I came up with the idea to call my sister to see if she would ride to my home and sit till we got back. My sister said she would but, it would be about 30 minutes. So, we headed on towards Brunswick. About 30 minutes later my sister called me and said everything looked fine at my home, I asked her to stay until I got back from this service call and she agreed.
I can go on with all these little things to this story but it is taking way to long and really is not needed.
The main thing I wanted to let everyone know was as I suspected, when our daughter got home from school she discovered her bedroom destroyed! All her clothes was stolen, even to her underwear! Shoes, jewelry, you name it! And of course my bedroom had been hit as well. Money & Jewelry taken, literally a TON of food and stuff that didn't belong to us. See, 3 days earlier I threw my other nephew off of my property. Him and his girlfriend had been staying in a camper on my property and to make a long story short, we caught them stealing.
BOTH of them, his brother and his wife is the ones responsible for this burglary! Plus, here is the good part!
This Josh person, as you probably guessed was NOT broke down in Brunswick! It was all just part of their plan to get us out of our home so they could burglarize it!
Here is the kicker, ALL this information was turned over to the Det. I even went so far as to tracking down the phone number of this Josh person and I turned it over to the Det. Still nothing! I then hired a private investigator to try and find out the true identity of this Josh person, Which I did and I also passed ALL of that info to the detective as well! To no avail!
We also had a witness come forward with information about where some of our jewelry had been sold. As with ALL of our cases, this same Detective has been appointed over each and every one of these cases! Even though he has shown nothing but incompetence(at the least!) in handling our cases!
We passed the info about the witness and where our jewelry was sold to the Det. 2-3 days after our home was burglarized! No response, nothing!
The 5th day after the burglary, WE went to the gold buyer to try and find out any info since we couldn't/can't get any info or even a return call from the Det. Upon speaking with the gold buyer, he was happy to help us, but the gold buyer informed us that he ONLY holds onto what gold he buys for 7 days!.. He said he would be more than willing to talk to a Detective to try and help us as he HATES a CROOK! So we both tried calling the Det. and like with most all the times before, and since, we got no return call....Nothing!
The 6th day or actually, that night, I went online & got on a lawyers blog site, (not this one). I posted my story and problems that we was having concerning the Detective & the Sheriff's office and the lack of them doing their job and this was the response I got.
A lawyer told me to no matter what for me to go back to the gold buyer and even if I had to buy our jewelry back, to do so. As without the jewelry, we had NO EVIDENCE!
The lawyer also told me to contact the GBI as well as our state representative (Mark Hatfield) to see if we could get any justice as to why the Sheriff's department was NOT doing their job.
The 7th day, We (my wife and I) was sitting in the parking lot of the gold buyer waiting for him to open up. As he drove up, we told him why we was there and we wanted to know if he had any of our stolen jewelry? He responded by saying No, he had done sold it! Mad, pissed...so many words can NOT explain the emotions I was feeling! Again, I honestly felt then and now that this Det. was allowing this to happen to us as WHY ELSE WOULD HE NOT BE DOING HIS JOB?!?!?!
So, again we started with our calls to try and get answers from this detective! Still, as with before and since, we got no response! I tried as the lawyer had informed me, the GBI will ONLY step in if asked by the sheriff (That is NOT going to happen) the state representative NEVER returned my call, but, shortly afterwards the detective did and he claimed that he had spoken with the gold buyer a couple of days back and put a hold on our jewelry. The Gold buyer told us THAT was a LIE!
Now, this Det. will not call me as while all this was going on, I sent him a couple of NICE emails! Yep, I was NICE! Or at least the first and maybe the second one was, but by the 3rd and final 4th email.....I was wanting answers to why he was so incompetent at his job!?!?!?!
This Det. finally returned our calls and speaks with my wife, he told her that he had talked with the gold buyer a couple of days earlier, and if the gold buyer had sold our jewelry, he was going to issue a warrant out for his arrest.
Now, I can tell you first hand, I seriously doubt that he called the gold buyer, if so, why would the gold buyer have sold our jewelry? Plus, the gold buyer said again that was a lie!
But, let's just say at least for the benefit of this Det. that he did call and speak with the gold buyer! (Please remember this part because as you read the rest of my families predicament I want you to ask yourself this!)
Day 9, I get a call from the gold buyer. It seems that the Det. did call the gold buyer AFTER he had spoken with my wife on day 7. Anyway, the gold buyer tells me that he managed to get all the gold back and he had tried to call the detective but got no response. But, he wanted me to come up to his place of business to see if we could ID any of our stolen jewelry.
We did just that! Now, let me go back to the day of our burglary Dec. 6th. When we discovered that our home had been burglarized, we did as everyone else and called 911 to report it. 2 deputies from the sheriff's office came out, they wanted us to come up with a list of all the items/property missing from our home. So, we started going through things MOSTLY our bedroom as that is the room that gets hit EVERY TIME our home gets burglarized! We was given approx. 15 mins. to come up with everything that was stolen! Now, I don't know if any of y'all has been through something like this but trust me, there is NO WAY you can go through your entire home and come up with a list of all the items!
We was finding items missing MONTHS after that burglary! Anyway, after about 15 minutes one of the deputies informed us that they had another call and must leave, but either they or a detective would get back with us. So the deputies only got a partial list of all the items stolen from our home and get this...NONE of the other items has yet to be added to the list! WHY??? Ask yourself! And yes, we reported them by phone to the sheriff's office.
We didn't even realize all the jewelry that was missing! Now, we had (and yes, HAD is the key word now!) a lot of jewelry! Well over $20K in jewelry alone! The deputies left with a partial list and that was that!
Back to Day 9, Upon meeting up with the gold buyer (around 9:00am), he presented 2 bags of gold that he had purchased over the last few weeks. 1 bag had 10K marked on it and the other had 14K marked on it. The gold buyer starts by pouring out the first bag while Linda and I stood at his counter, as soon as he poured out that bag of gold immediately my wife goes to crying! Laying right on top of the pile was her gold Ruby & Diamond bracelet that I had bought from a local jewelry store! A bracelet that she hadn't even realized until then was missing! We ended up identifying literally two handfuls of jewelry! Again, we tried calling this Detective! Again, we got NO RESPONSE!
There was no way I was leaving there until I found out about our jewelry!
So, again I went to calling higher up officials. Finally around 12:30pm this Det. responds with a call, not to us, but too the gold buyer. We all was still standing at the gold buyers counter when his phone rang, here is what I heard. Gold Buyer; Hello, Yes. the victims has identified a lot of stolen jewelry! I have it seperated. Then, the gold buyer looks at me with a look that I can't explain other than ODD and says; Okay. Alright, Bye.
The gold buyer hangs up his phone all the time giving me this look that you would just had to have seen to understand, and he says to me....You wont believe what he just said to me! I said, "I probably wont, but what did he say? Gold Buyer; He said that he wish we wasn't up there doing his job for him! I said, I wish I didn't have to be up here doing his job for him! This Det. had DAYS to do anything concerning this and yet, as usual....NOTHING.
Now, I also had a private investigator check into the mishandlings of this case. Guess what we was told by him? His one statement that I will never forget was....and I quote; "If Det. *&*&*&&* is an investigator, then I'm the freaking President of the United States!" This is a EASY case to close yet, you can see what we went through to try and get any closure or help from the sheriff! Again, ask yourself Why?
Anyway, the gold buyer told us that the Det. said he was in court but he would be up there in about 45 minutes. So, we waited!
Upon arriving the Det. spoke with the gold buyer, asked him some questions like did he remember whom he purchased any of this jewelry from? The gold buyer stated that he really didn't EXCEPT for this one piece! Which was a 14K Gold herringbone chain, it had only been worn once or twice and as the gold buyer stated, it GLEAMED! The gold buyer stated that he remembered asking the individual about that necklace because he could tell it was new! We rarely wear our jewelry, most of my jewelry was purchased as a retirement fund, not all but most! Anyway, the gold buyer questioned the seller as to what happened to the chain? The perpatrator, who is my nephew, told him that his ex-girlfriend had given him the necklace and since they was no longer together, he didn't wont it any more. But, my nephew had cut this chain up into little pieces about 2-3 inches in length! A BRAND NEW CHAIN, VALUED AT $1000!!!
All my jewelry was in pristine condition! Some of this jewelry is a 1 of a kind, and custom made! You should have seen how our jewelry stood out in all of the other gold this gold buyer had purchased! Thank God, my sorry nephew hadn't cut all of it up, just the chain and he had tried to cut 1 of the rings but he wasn't strong enough although he did leave some sharp cut marks on the ring..
The det. told the gold buyer he would get a line up together to see if he could ID these persons and proceeded to leave. I asked the gold buyer to please not let nothing happen to our jewelry even if I had to buy it back, I would! He assured me that it would be safe and I went out to talk with the detective. I caught with him as he was getting into his truck and i asked him when he was going to speak with our witness. He said that we had enough evidence now to get the warrants and he really didn't see the need to speak with her. Even to this day, he has not spoken with this witness!
Okay, at that time there was ONLY 4 people that knew about this witness! My wife, I, the witness & this detective!
That very same night, the witness calls us crying stating that she just got a phone call from my nephew threatening her, saying that they had been tipped off that she was helping us!
She was so scared that she went and stayed at her Grandma's that night! How did they get this info? Hummm!!!
The next week or so went by and nothing much happened until the night of Dec. 17th and the early morning of the 18th!
The night of the 17th we got another call from our witness crying yet again! Guess what??? Her home had been burglarized! And, almost the EXACT M.O. as with our home burglary! Turns out she got a phone call from my nephew asking her where she was? She told us that he was all nice, claimed he had lost his job and was wondering if her husband may could get him on at his job. She informed him that they was at the hospital but would be home in about 30 minutes.
She said that my nephew kept her on the phone making small talk as they was heading home until about 5 minutes before they got home and then he abruptly ended the call.
Well, when they arrived home they discovered their home had been burglarized!
You will never know how bad this is unless you have been violated like this! I told her to call the law, she did but she was too scared to stay in her own home and again went to spend the night with her grandma.
The next day she went to check on her home, there is a store right down the road from her home that they frequently stop at. Now, my nephew is also her half brother. They too are related and up until this all happened to us and her they all would often spend the night at her home. Being so, the store clerk knew them by first name!
When they stopped at the store the day after her home burglary, the store clerk asked her..."Did (my nephew) sell that x-box game system last night? She was floored!
The x-box game system was stolen out of her home minutes before my nephew tried to sell it to the store clerk!
The law was informed about all of this, but being they didn't have a serial number nor did the property get recovered....You guessed it! My nephews walk yet again to continue on their crime spree!
We kept trying to get in contact with this detective and as usual, got no response. Again, higher up officials was contacted to get any response. The detective calls my wife and tells her that is we didn't like the way he was doing his job for us to go to the magistrate and take the warrants out our self! So, we went to do just that!
Upon talking with the clerk at the magistrate we was informed that there was a warrant against 1 of the persons. I asked well, do I need to take this warrant out then? The clerk said, let me ask the judge.
She returned and said the judge said yes, so we did. Later that same day, we ran into my nephew that had the warrant out on him (or at least we thought going by what the clerk at the magistrate told us) and we called 911. Upon checking, they didn't find any warrant! We later found out that this judge pulled the warrant because of us taking out our warrants! (I don't know if that was legal or not)
We went to the preliminary hearing and the judge issued a new warrant on my nephew, BUT, for only a misdemeanor! I asked the judge while she was telling the charge, Your honor, why only a misdemeanor? Just 1 of pieces of jewelry was valued at $1000! The judge stated that she was looking over the Detectives notes and this is what he recommended.
I again informed her of how much the value was as well as both witnesses IDed the jewelry as well as the perp., my nephew. So, the judge said, you know, I'm going to change this charge from a misdemeanor to a felony charge! I thanked her and God for helping us!
Now, all our jewelry was still sitting at the gold buyer's business! It took me taking out a civil case against him before he would release it to us! But, we did get it back! Thank God!
After running into all these problems with this detective and hearing from 2 persons that work within the sheriff's office about how the detectives was laughing and saying that they didn't care what happened to my family and I and how the sheriff basically said the same thing.....I went to try and hire any local attorney to see if we may have a case against the sheriff's department.
After talking with a couple of attorneys and getting no where, we was called by the gold buyer to come up to the magistrate to pick up our jewelry. As we picked up our jewelry, another judge, the Chief magistrate comes in and asks me...."What's this I hear about you trying to open a case against the sheriff's office?" I said yes, that I didn't appreciate how our case was being handled and how I've heard what I did from these two individuals. The chief said, well, we'll get to the bottom of this right now! He then called the sheriff, asks him if he could come up to his office to speak with us about this matter.
He did, as well as this detective & a deputy. The sheriff goes to asking me who told me what I heard? I told him that I couldn't say, or at least at this time as BOTH told me YOU would fire them! The sheriff then says that I'm lying about this! I told him I bet he thinks all this is a lie, All our home burglaries included! The sheriff then jumps up out of his seat and goes to yelling at me, saying I'm going to respect him that he is the sheriff of this county! One of the judges spoke up and said we need to get to the bottom of all this. The sheriff instantly sits back down and speaks softly to the judge and says, yes sir!
I was then given the opportunity to ask this detective questions and the very first question I asked was...."How is it that ALL the information we turned in as well as the name of the witness get back to these thugs!?!?!?
Before anyone else could say a word, the detective says...."They have a right to know what you are accusing them of!"
I didn't know what to say, I was speechless and dumbfounded!
That statement right there told me everything I needed to hear, I just don't know what to do about this?
Since then, our home has been hit/burglarized 8 more times!
We went on vacation May 20-30th, our home was hit twice! On May 23rd a AK-47 assault rifle was stolen.
I knew with what I have heard and been told that I was fighting a losing battle, but here is the latest thing that we discovered!
Upon us searching for any of our stolen property, which we have called Pawn shops, gold buyers and even out of town law enforcement, I asked a detective from the Coffee county sheriff's office if he could run the serial number of the rifle stolen. he said yes, and guess what? The serial number has NOT been reported to the G.C.I.C. system! WHY? You tell me!
I have tried EVERYONE that I can think of in our hometown to no avail! I have talked with several lawyers and unless I'm willing to fork over some BIG bucks, No HELP at all! Even then, the lawyers told me that there wasn't much they could do. I was told to contact the FBI as well as the ATF about this, which I did 2 days ago. The FBI told us they are sorry we have been done this way but they couldn't help us but definitely too call the ATF about this.
I did, the ATF agent told me he would contact the sheriff's office and get to the bottom of this and he would call me back the next day. It's been 2 days now and no call back! What do I do? Seriously, What?
My family living around us is helping my other family rob us blind! Then, we also have the sheriff's office working to insure that they get away with these crimes! I have proof of what I'm saying but, no on e will help us in this town!
I just want to get our story out, just maybe it will help either us or someone else! Crooked cops, helps ONLY who they want! Believe me, I know it to be a fact! We've been victimized by BOTH parties, the perps and law enforcement!
Thanks for reading, maybe this will help me sleep a little easier tonight as all of this is tearing my family apart and killing us! I haven't had a good nights sleep in a VERY LONG TIME!
Sleepless in Georgia!