WALTON COUNTY, Ga. - Two men are behind bars for stealing more than $2,000 in unusual items.
The Walton County Sheriff's Office said Lamarion Weems, 29, and Renault Peek, 37, are accused of stealing laundry detergent, soap and other personal hygiene items from several Dollar Generals.
"Usually the items we have stolen are either electronics, lawn equipment, ATV's, things like that," said Sgt. Sam Duff with The Walton Co. Sheriff's Office. "I have never had soap or laundry detergent," said Sgt. Duff.
The shoplifting call came after investigators said the crooks took off with detergent from The Dollar General on Highway 81 in Loganville. Sgt. Duff happened to be on the same street as the thieves and spotted the suspect car and pulled them over. When he looked in the back seat he saw the laundry detergent and soap. After retrieving the stolen items from the suspect car, investigators said they found more than 300 items.
"These individuals would start at approximately eight or nine in the morning and they would go to 12-15 Dollar Generals throughout the metro area," said Sgt. Duff.
Investigators said the men wore very baggy jeans, baggy shirts and hoodies and that is how they were able to hide the bottles in their pockets and jeans. Deputies said this is a new trend for criminals.
"The going rate for the detergent at the Dollar General is anywhere from $10 to $12 a bottle," said Sgt. Duff. "They would carry these back to Metro Atlanta, set them up on the hoods of their vehicles at a gas station or at a park and sell them for half price,' said Sgt. Duff who adds that the detergent is sometimes sold at flea markets as well.
Deputies said the crooks were arrested less than a year ago in Atlanta for committing the same crime and have a lengthy criminal background. The thieves are charged with misdemeanor shoplifting and felony theft by receiving.