Homeless man charged in auto thefts

A 21-year-old homeless man has been charged with stealing three vehicles from gas stations near Washington Road at Interstate 20 this week and trying to steal a fourth from a Washington Road restaurant.

Police have been monitoring the area for the past two days after a rash of vehicle thefts.

On Friday, police saw Mar­keith Golphin, of Sylvania, Ga., walk through two gas station parking lots while on a cellphone and looking into vehicles parked at the pump. Police said he repeated the action over several hours.

When investigators tried to make contact with him, Gol­phin ran through Center West Villa Apart­ments, where he
was caught, authorities said.

Golphin, who had an active parole violation warrant, is charged with three counts of theft by taking motor vehicle and one count of criminal attempt theft by taking motor vehicle.

Police said a 1987 Chevro­let Sil­verado was taken Monday at Circle K at 2916 Wash­ing­ton Road, and a 2003 Ford F-150 was taken the next day from Circle K at 2999 Washington Road. In both cases the vehicle was left unattended with the keys inside while the drivers went into the store to pay for gas.

On Wednesday, a thief drove off in a 1987 Chevrolet Sil­verado that had been left running outside the second Circle K location while the driver went inside for a cup of coffee.

Police were called to Roadrunner Cafe at 2821 Wash­ington Road on Friday after a 1987 Chevrolet Silve­rado left there overnight was found forced open, with the steering column and ignition damaged.

Fewer vehicle thefts reported in 2013
SAFETY TIPS

• Never leave a vehicle unlocked.

• Do not leave purses, wallets, credit cards or electronics in plain sight in your unattended vehicle.

• Do not leave children unattended in a vehicle.

• Be familiar with your surroundings.

 

Source: Richmond County Sheriff’s Office

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