By Sidhartha Wakade
A man and woman were arrested last Sunday morning around 7a.m. on June 16, 2019, on marijuana and prescription drug charges after being tied to a spree involving 31 cases of burglarized cars across Morgan and Newton counties.
Nicholas Hall, 31, and Erica Babcock, 22, both from Newton County, were arrested after deputies from the Madison Police Department responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle , according to reports.
Madison Police Department officers allegedly found the two in a Nissan Altima with a damaged bumper hidden behind bushes and trees at the vacant Steak’ n Shake on Eatonton Road, reports stated.
Hall was detained immediately and Babcock, who was asleep in the passenger seat, was removed from the car. Morgan County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived at the scene to question the two, according to reports.
Hall was allegedly sweating and nervous, and told deputies that he did not try to break into a car at an Dixie Highway residence in an earlier reported incident, according to reports. Hall said that he tried to fix the damage to his car’s bumper.
When deputies asked Babcock whether there was anything illegal in the vehicle, she told them that there was not as far as she knew, according to reports.
Babcock granted police permission to search the vehicle, after which they found suspected marijuana and 17 tablets of suspected Xanax, reports stated.
Babcock and Hall were placed under arrest, and Hall allegedly admitted to officers that he and Babcock drove around the county all night smoking marijuana and stealing items from cars.
Lt. Brandon Sellers, Morgan County Sherriff’s Office (MCSO), said soon after Hall and Babcock were arrested, the MCSO began getting calls about cars that were broken into.
“Not long after that we started receiving… multiple calls from multiple areas of the county where people were waking up, going to their car and finding out they had been entered and things had been stolen the night before,” Sellers said.
Hall and Babcock allegedly broke into 14 cars in Morgan County over a six-hour time-span, according to Sellers. The two had allegedly broken into 17 cars in Newton County over the past three or four days, Sellers said. Newton County.
The pair allegedly stole sunglasses, laptops, cellphone chargers, external batteries, clothes, tools, money pouches, large amounts of change, gift cards, coolers and prescription drugs belonging to the victims, all of which was found in the Nisan, according to reports.
“We’ve got probably two dozen gift cards that were taken,” Sellers said. “Just whatever they could grab inside the vehicles. It’s literally everything.”
Police have recovered most of the stolen items from Morgan County, according to Sellers.
The property stolen from Newton County will take more time since those items were stolen over a longer time-span, Sellers said. Newton County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO)deputies are collaborating with the MCSO, he said.
Brown has been charged with possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance, according to reports. Sellers said both Brown and Babcock also face 14 counts of entering auto, which is a felony in Georgia.
Newton county deputies are also bringing charges against the two, Sellers said. Brown also faces additional charges for lying to police about his real name and date of birth, according to reports.