Two Lawrenceville residents have been arrested in connection with more than 160 break-ins at fire stations across metro-Atlanta, including at least one in Forsyth County, Cobb County Police Department officials announced July 31.
On July 27, Elisha Ross, 25, and Ayana Forest, 22, were charged with entering auto, violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and burglary – all felonies – among other charges, after the Cobb County Police Department, the Smyrna Police Department and the FBI determined “more than 161 vehicles were entered by the two suspects at more than 44 locations” since January, according to a news release.
The pair has allegedly stolen more than 40 firearms since the beginning of the year, including three from Forsyth County Fire Station No. 10, which is located at 3680 Old Atlanta Road in south Forsyth.
Firefighters and EMTs working at the station first noticed their vehicles had been entered around 7 a.m. Monday, Jan. 2, Forsyth officials said at the time.
“When they came back from a call just after 1 a.m., they could see the parking lot and they knew everything was fine then, so it had to be between then and shift change [at 7 a.m.],” Forsyth County Fire Department Division Chief Jason Shivers said in January. “When they came out at shift change, they found broken windows and disarray in the vehicle interiors where someone had gone through them.”
Five vehicles were targeted in that hit, all of which Ross and Forest are implicated in, according to Alicia Chilton, a spokeswoman for the Cobb County Police Department.
“We worked very closely with the FBI using various technologies, including fingerprinting, to identify [Ross and Forest],” she said. “They were [positively identified] with five cases that all happened on the same day at the fire station located at 3680 Old Atlanta Road.”
Chilton said she could not comment on whether Ross and Forest are implicated in break-ins at four other Forsyth County fire stations in March, three of which occurred in west Forsyth and one in Cumming.
Six firearms were stolen in the west Forsyth break-ins, though none were taken from Station No. 1 in Cumming.
A day after the Forsyth break-ins, similar break-ins occurred in downtown Dawsonville at fire station No. 1 on March 16. Four firefighter’s cars were broken into and two firearms were taken.
Sgt. Dana Pierce, public informations officer with the Cobb County Police Department, said it was too early to tell if the Dawson County burglary was related.
Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson said the investigations division is in contact with the arresting agency.
Law enforcement began the investigation in February, and more charges are likely to be added as it is ongoing, Chilton said.
Ross is currently being held at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center without bond, and Forest is being held at the Gwinnett County Jail without bond on a hold from Cobb County.
Dawson County News staff writer Allie Dean contributed to this report.