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Shoplifter bites officers, steals patrol car, crashes

Demetra Clay

Demetra Clay

SNELLVILLE — A woman who allegedly tried to shoplift $90 worth of solvents from a Home Depot store on Friday afternoon was taken into custody after she fought and bit store employees and police officers, then stole a police car and crashed it into a pole.

Snellville Police Chief Roy Whitehead said Demetra Clay — who initially gave police three different names — fought loss prevention employees who tried to take her into custody as she left the store. When Snellville Police officers arrived just before 5 p.m., Whitehead said the woman was handcuffed and seemed as if she was going to calm down.

But after Clay was placed in the car, the cage didn’t click, and she managed to crawl through the window and got in the driver’s seat with the car running.

After she drove the car about 50 feet, it crashed into poles in front of the store on Scenic Highway and pinned one officer’s arm between the patrol car and a concrete curb. The officer was taken to the hospital with a broken arm, Whitehead said.

“She continued to struggle, bit, pounded her head and kicked at everybody,” Whitehead said after two officers worked to restrain her in the car.

Clay also attempted to strangle herself with a seatbelt and claimed to be under the influence of drugs, Whitehead said.

Ultimately, police used a transport van to take her to the Gwinnett jail so she wouldn’t hurt herself, Whitehead said. Police believe someone dropped her off at the store because she didn’t have keys or anything in her purse.

Clay was held in the Gwinnett jail without bond on 12 charges, including 10 felonies, such as aggravated assault, obstruction of a law enforcement officer, interference with government property and theft by taking.

This is the second time in less than a year Clay was arrested on shoplifting and aggravated assault charges. She was last booked in the Gwinnett jail in September on similar charges, but was also in jail on a shoplifting charge in August.

Comments

SurelyNot 1 year, 8 months ago

I totally don't blame stores for having shop lifters arrested on the spot. There is no telling what we pay for everything we buy directly related to an increased price due to theft. And it isn't limited to retail...I bet restaurants/bars have people who walk

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Sandykin 1 year, 8 months ago

She was booked on similar charges in September, and also charged with shoplifting in August. Hmmm, seems to be a pattern. Since we throw them in jail, couldn't we provide some type of counseling there? Perhaps it could stop some of these repeat offenders. Jail would be a bit more expensive, but the savings on the trials and court appointed attorneys would offset it.

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Gundoctor1 1 year, 8 months ago

We sure do need to provide some counseling. A year in jail no time off for good behavior, This will probably deter her from doing this again....

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Haughton 1 year, 8 months ago

Snellville PD is having to deal with a lot more of these incidences. That shopping corridor is crowded and criminals probably think they get away with more when surrounded by more people. The cast of characters I see often these days raises some eyebrows. Very glad Dementia was contained to the parking lot.

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citized 1 year, 8 months ago

Bring back the old days, cut off her hands. Give her the bill. Hay 3 strikes and you're out

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John5214 1 year, 8 months ago

" couldn't we provide some type of counseling there?" Yeah right, Sandykin. I go with citized on this one. Police need to find the person who dropped her off at the store and arrest them, also. You surely don't think she was in this alone, do you?

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Sandykin 1 year, 8 months ago

I think she needs professional help. She's got a drug problem that is causing damage not only to herself, but to others. Why not address this individual who enacted the crime and ensuing mayhem?

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dentaldawg83 1 year, 8 months ago

put her in prison so she doesn't kill some innocent...plenty of time to study and treat her there...public safety comes first over a crazy individuals needs.

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John5214 1 year, 8 months ago

Oh, here we go now. Let's blame it on society or her mother or a bully in middle school or maybe some TV show. Surely her issues are because of others, she is not responsible. I am sure she is hoping you are on the jury so she can assign blame somewhere else, and you will buy into it. I am glad I shop at a different Home Depot. I would hate to get bit by her.

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Motor76 1 year, 8 months ago

I'm with you John...Accountability has become a rare thing. Yes...she needs profesional help, a profesional prison guard to lock the door for a long time on this POS. Snellville is slowly becoming the armpit of Gwinnett County. I'll shop at Lowes thank you.

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suedehead 1 year, 8 months ago

Good thinking! Because this couldn't have happened right across the street. Is that the good side of 124?

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BrendaLee 1 year, 8 months ago

Professional help doesn't do a bit of good if she isn't willing to accept it.

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Mack711 1 year, 8 months ago

This person is not new to the criminal justice system. She had her chance to go straight instead she went back to her old ways. There is no one to blame but her self. As for counseling give it to her while she is in jail lcoked up the whole time. Tired of the revolving door on crime it is time to serve time.

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pcjohn 1 year, 8 months ago

So this aggressive woman was arrested twice before and let go? What does that indicate about our judges and prosecutors?

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SickandTired 1 year, 8 months ago

"Clay also attempted to strangle herself with a seatbelt and claimed to be under the influence of drugs, Whitehead said" .......... 'ya think???? Stealing solvents - probably PCP manufacturing. Would explain feeling no pain and uncharacteristic strength.

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edwardsj42 1 year, 8 months ago

Chances are she is into sniffing chemicals based upon what she was stealing. A limited mandatory sentence to a drug treatment center should be required for drug addicts that commit crimes to support their habit.

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Reality_Sucks 1 year, 8 months ago

Don't feel so safe at Lowes either Motor76....This criminal has a good chance of having a bond hearing in front of one of our newest Superior Court judges, Judge Schrader. Schrader recently have a guy who committed an armed bank robbery a $5,000 bond....he was out of jail in about a month. This is nothing compared to that. Schrader will probably give this woman a recognizance bond, and she will be visiting a Lowes near you.

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