THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Almost 40 cars in Thomasville have been broken into in the past month. Now, the Thomasville Police Department has a suspect in custody.
For the past month, Thomasville Police Department investigators have been stumped on who has been breaking into all of the cars. From the beginning, they believed it was a multi-person operation.
With more than 40 cars broken into and multiple guns stolen, police department investigators have narrowed down the search and arrested a suspect.
"We were struggling to identify these individuals. We had several suspects in mind," said Thomasville Police Captain Maurice Holmes.
The suspect they have in custody is a juvenile.
The juvenile that has been charged is the same teen that is in a juvenile detention facility facing felony charges after speeding off from an attempted traffic stop by a Thomas County deputy.
After wrecking the stolen vehicle into a ditch, he was found hiding in a bush.
It was later revealed that there were two other kids in the car with the 16-year-old, who all have a criminal record.
"This individual has a history of doing the same type of crimes, same mode of operation, and his cohorts who we're working to identify also have a history of the same M.O.," said Holmes.
I spoke with a few community members today about what they're doing to protect themselves.
Community members said they didn't want to be interviewed but they said they never leave their car doors unlocked, or at least on purpose. Which is what Holmes said is the common denominator in each case.
But, those residents said they are constantly on the lookout for suspicious behavior in their neighborhoods, especially with all the stolen guns.
"So, you put guns in the hands of juveniles. So, that's always a reckless situation in itself so you know it's imperative that you be responsible for your guns, and make sure. It is your responsibility to make sure your vehicle is locked if you're going to leave it in the car," explained Holmes.
Holmes said the individuals they have identified will also face a criminal street gang charge, which is a felony in the state of Georgia. He added that they are working to locate some of the guns and the other individuals.
For now, police said you should always make sure your car doors are locked to help prevent yourself from becoming a victim.
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