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Majority of car break-in suspects identified
Other suspects in thefts remain at large
DCSO building
File photo.

Authorities have identified four, possibly five, of the suspects involved in multiple alleged vehicle crimes that occurred during a January snowstorm in Dawson County. 

Warrants have been taken out on the adult suspects, and the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office has completed charges for a male juvenile from Clarkston, Georgia. 

He was charged with one count each of entering an auto, theft by taking and fleeing and attempting to elude. Charges are pending for another juvenile. 

Three of four stolen vehicles have been recovered after 27 car break-ins on Jan. 17. 

Early that morning, deputies responded to Shoal Creek Court after receiving reports of multiple suspects entering cars. People reported several vehicles driving into the neighborhood, with the suspects then exiting their rides and trying to enter unlocked cars, Johnson said. 

Not long after, DCSO’s 911 center got a call about a similar report at a Grizzle Road residence. Responding deputies saw a car drive recklessly from the area and pursued it, even after the suspect fled from a traffic stop at Lumpkin Campground Road proved unsuccessful. 

However, the pursuit was later stopped due to reasons including the inclement weather. DCSO forwarded a BOLO to the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office. Later, LCSO and the Georgia State Patrol responded to a crashed Ford F-150 truck in Lumpkin County. This was confirmed to be the truck stolen from a residence along Dawson’s Gold Creek Court.

Multiple suspects were also reported as attempting to steal a vehicle on Gold Creek Drive.

Two vehicles were also recovered in DeKalb County, a 2018 Jeep Compass stolen from Crown Pointe Drive and a 2016 Kia Optima stolen from Brights Way. Authorities are still looking for a 2014 Mercedes stolen from Bent Ridge Drive North. 

Belongings were stolen from people’s cars along Valley Brook Circle East, Valley Brook Drive, Valley Brook Circle West, Gold Bullion Drive West, Emory Trace, Trout Shoals Road, Brights Way and Bent Ridge Drive.

Among the stolen items are firearms, jewelry, prescriptions, purses or handbags with contents, a computer and iPad, headphone, wallet and backpacks or bookbags with laptops. 

DCSO reports indicate that only “unlocked” vehicles were targeted, and locked vehicles were bypassed, Johnson said. 

The DCSO investigation into the incidents is ongoing. Anyone with footage or other relevant information about the crimes can reach out via the sheriff office’s phone number, 706-344-3636. 

Sheriff Johnson said that large groups of cars in communities can be ideal targets for thieves, who may travel to Dawson County from another area. He added that the suspects were able to avoid getting caught initially because they entered unlocked vehicles during the snowstorm. 

“We have always believed that the best way to prevent crime is to remove the opportunity,” Johnson said. “Locking vehicles and engaging alarms is a proven deterrent. Taking the time to remove valuables from our vehicles is certainly worthwhile.”