From staff reports
MILLEDGEVILLE — Milledgeville Police recently made arrests in connection to a rash of auto thefts that have plagued the city since the first part of December last year.
A total of 13 cars have been taken and later found parked in various locations throughout the city, according to police.
On Sunday, Feb. 17, three vehicles were stolen from the Pine Knoll Apartments area and Allison Drive.
MPD officers apprehended three young suspects in connection with the incident and potentially multiple other city auto thefts.
Landon Martin is 17 years old. The other two suspects are juveniles, ages 15 and 16. All have been charged with four counts each of auto theft and four counts of criminal damage to property.
According to police, more charges are pending.
The first of the three vehicles stolen Sunday was located at the soccer fields off Meeks Road. The vehicle, like others, had extensive damage to its interior. The thieves stripped the vehicle of all stereo equipment and miscellaneous items, according to Maj. Reggie Hill of MPD.
Later that afternoon, the second vehicle was located off State Dairy Farm Road. The vehicle was involved in an accident and left at the scene by the perpetrators.
Det. Kim Khan assessed the vehicle for any evidence that may have been left behind. While on scene, a key piece of evidence was located, leading MPD to the identity of a suspect already identified as a person of interest.
Prior to the vehicle being located, Det. Deidra Byrd and Det. Everett January compiled photos of three suspects believed to be involved in the thefts.
Assistance from the Pine Knoll courtesy officer helped identify that the suspects lived in the area. With the names, along with the items found at the scene of the second vehicle recovered, the police located the suspects.
Two of the suspects were taken into custody at a Pine Knoll apartment. The third suspect’s father brought him to the police department.
Hill said for the most part the stolen vehicles were left in close proximity of the apartment complex. The arrests have been a long time coming for the police.
“Once it all came together, it made perfectly good sense when the suspects were identified. This has been a very stressful investigation and has taken a toll on investigators and victims of these thefts,” Hill said. “Chief (Dray) Swicord was very pleased with the outcome of this investigation and the course it has taken over the last couple of months. I am extremely proud of my investigators for continuing to be dedicated to solving crimes reported.”
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