“Suspicious” behavior by a pair of motorists led to a pair of charges during a week in which most of the Commerce Police Department’s arrests were made by the graveyard shift.
Robert Wilson Cowles Jr. of Toccoa found himself charged with obstruction of officers and driving in violation of his limited driving permit after his behavior led an officer to further investigation.
The first tip-off was a wide turn from South Broad Street onto Ila Road, in which Cowles almost hit the officer, according to the officer’s written report. That gave the officer reason to follow the vehicle at 12:15 a.m.
The vehicle led the officer down Harris Street and back to Hwy. 98, then over to Ingles, where it pulled into a parking space and just sat there. The officer thought that was peculiar, given that the store was closed, so he pulled up behind the vehicle and got out.
The driver, later identified as Cowles, exited the vehicle and ran away, but the officer did not give chase because there were other occupants of the vehicle, both juveniles, who were not charged but were taken to the police station.
Some time later, Ingles employees called to notify police that the person they’d been seeking was beside the store. The report said Cowles, missing his shirt and shoes, was arrested without incident.
A vehicle parked at the Potter’s House at 12:55 a.m. also roused suspicion, so an officer pulled up behind it, at which time it attempted to leave.
The officer successfully stopped it, and asked Steven Wesley Andrews, 37, of 140 Tanglewood Drive, Anderson, SC, what he was doing.
The man said he was looking for his wedding ring, which he thought he had accidentally put in one of the bags he’d dropped off at the thrift store.
Unfortunately for Andrews, the officer found out he was driving with a suspended license and cited him.
For a complete list of Commerce Police Department arrests and incidents, see the July 9 edition of The Commerce News.