Valdosta Daily Times

November 23, 2012

Valdosta Police arrest suspect for double-dipping Thanksgiving crimes

Quinten Plummer
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — A swarm of police officers descended on a hotel employee Thanksgiving evening, after an estimated $120 had been swindled from his employer earlier in the morning, only for the employee to return for a second helping in an evening robbery incident at the same location, according to the Valdosta Police Department.

The first incident occurred Thursday morning when the man requested money from a coworker at the Hampton Inn and Suites on Meeting Place Drive, said Valdosta Police Cmdr. Brian Childress.

“He had been doing maintenance work at the Hampton Inn,” said Childress. “Apparently, he went into the hotel and asked for money to do work for the hotel. He requested the money under false pretexts, so that was the case of theft.”

The man was gone by the time authorities responded to this 2 a.m. incident, said Childress. But police were ready Thursday evening when the man returned to deprive the business a second time.

“At about 5:13 p.m., we received a second call about the same guy,” said Childress. “Witnesses stated that he walked behind the counter, forced his way past two clerks and took cash from a register. So now, the incident becomes a robbery, too.”

The man, who had been working at the hotel through a post-prison program, didn’t brandish a weapon in either of the Thanksgiving Day incidents, stated Childress.

Gregory Lenard Fields, 49, of Lawrenceville is charged with theft by deception, fraud or swindle, and robbery of a business, Childress said.