Police nab alleged sign thief

NORCROSS - A man was caught trying to remove a crosswalk sign from a Norcross intersection using a hacksaw Sunday, a police report said.

A Gwinnett County Department of Transportation employee observed 39-year-old Leo Damiel Masheck of Norcross trying to remove the partially damaged sign near the intersection of Interstate 85 and Jimmy Carter Boulevard.

When Masheck was asked by police why he was trying to remove the sign, he reportedly responded, "Because I'm stupid," the report said.

Masheck was arrested and charged with theft by taking and interference with government property.

Trees stolen from property

DORAVILLE - Several cyprus trees were stolen from a Doraville man's property last week.

According to a police report, six out of 20, 4-foot tall trees where taken from the vacant lot on South Woodland Drive in Doraville sometime Saturday.

The property owner said he was attempting to landscape the barren land and may know who is responsible for the theft.

Mother accused of shoplifting

SUWANEE - A Lawrenceville woman was cited for shoplifting from a local Kroger last week.

According to a police report, the woman told police she needed Christmas presents for her children but didn't have the money to buy them.

Jeanne Ann Berchtold, 35, of East Drive allegedly entered the store about 9 p.m. Dec. 21 and placed items into reusable cloth bags and attempted to leave without paying.

When questioned by police and grocery store loss prevention, Berchtold admitted to the theft, the report said.

Berchtold was cited for shoplifting and issued a criminal trespass warning at the request of store officials.

Stereo stolen from boat

LAWRENCEVILLE - The steering wheel and stereo were stolen from a boat parked on the lot of a Lawrenceville car dealership, a police report said.

The owner of the dealership, Cars of Gwinnett Inc. on U.S. Highway 29, reported that the parts were taken sometime between Dec. 15 and Dec. 18.

Cops hunt mailbox vandal

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett police are looking for a man they say is taking batting practice on mailboxes in Lawrenceville.

Residents in the 3800 block of Rajean Drive reported that a man swung a baseball bat Thursday from the passenger seat of a red, late-model Nissan 350Z and knocked their mailboxes into the street.

Police have received similar complaints in the same area.

Witnesses described the bat-swinging man as a heavy-set black male, wearing baggy jeans and a hooded shirt.

Man gets death threats

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Lawrenceville man called police Thursday to report death threats he'd received by phone.

The victim said a Hispanic man named Sergio had called him numerous times and told him he was going to kill him.

In the most recent conversation, the man said, Sergio threatened to come to his house to murder him.

The homeowner said he didn't know Sergio. The caller never left a last name, he said.

Police advised the homeowner to stay elsewhere for the night to ensure his safety - and to take out warrants on his tormentor. The man agreed to stay in a hotel.