Former NFL player charged with theft

CONYERS — A former NFL player with the Carolina Panthers was arrested Friday in Conyers after he allegedly stole a leaf blower out of the back of a landscape truck parked at the Rockdale County Courthouse.

Armond Rafael Smith, 28, of 2776 Lakeside Drive, was charged with theft by taking after he was allegedly seen taking a $500 Stihl leaf blower.

According to the incident report filed by the Conyers Police Department, a witness saw Smith take the leaf blower from the back of a landscape truck parked on Court Street around 2 p.m. on Aug. 7 and place it in the back of his blue newer model Dodge Ram truck. The witness told police he tried to get the tag number on the truck, but it appeared to be covered up with a blue T-shirt.

Soon, the owner of the landscape truck returned from the Tax Assessor’s Office nearby and the witness told him what happened. They then contacted police and described the male as being a young black male with an athletic build and having a cast on his hand.

CPD Officer Kim Lucas said officers spoke with courthouse personnel and were able to secure courthouse surveillance video footage. Lucas said authorities discovered that Smith had been at the courthouse on Aug. 7 regarding a domestic violence matter earlier that day.

She said investigators located Smith on Friday. When they arrested him, they found a Carolina Panthers football helmet in his car.

According to his biography on the Cleveland Browns website, Smith is a native of Stone Mountain and attended Redan High School. He attended Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College and Shorter College in Little Rock, Ark., before transferring to Union College in Kentucky. He was named the 2010 Mid-South Conference West Offensive Player of the Year and signed with the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent on July 30, 2011. He played with the Carolina Panthers in 2012 and 2013. He is not listed on the Carolina Panthers 2014 team roster, according to its website.