Lynn Keenum, who lives in a subdivision off Lower Roswell Road, is one of 17 homeowners in the area whose homes were burglarized in the middle of the night between Jan. 17 and Jan. 26.
“At around 2:50 a.m., we heard the door beep, and then the next thing we see is a flashlight going through the house,” Keenum said. “I yelled at whomever was in the house to get out, but that didn’t do any good, so only after hearing the sound of a gun being loaded did they make an attempt to leave.”
Four suspects have been arrested — Jontavius Dearra Clark, 26, of Austell; Jaquori Harris, 20, of College Park; 48-year-old Malloy Bernard Brooks and 64-year-old Richard Lee Burgess, both of Atlanta. They have been charged in connection with a string of home and car burglaries in neighborhoods off Lower Roswell Road east of Johnson Ferry Road.
The four suspects were charged with felony burglary and entering automobiles.
Clark, Harris and Brooks, who remain in the Cobb County Jail without bond, were arrested Monday during a traffic stop near Lower Roswell and Johnson Ferry roads.
Burgess was arrested Wednesday at an apartment on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Atlanta while officers executed a search warrant. He remains in the Fulton County Jail without bond.
Stolen items were recovered from both the car and Burgess’ home, including a $35,000 Gucci crocodile purse, iPads and iPods, credit cards, wallets, laptops and cellphones.
‘Crimes of opportunity’
Lt. Destiny Davidson, a detective with Precinct 4 in east Cobb, said the suspects, all identified with the help of detectives from Clayton County, Atlanta, Roswell and Smyrna, are possibly connected with up to 30 burglaries throughout metro Atlanta.
She described the burglaries as “crimes of opportunity,” meaning the homeowners had each left their garage doors up, cars unlocked and possibly the doors into their homes through the garage unlocked on the nights of the burglaries.
“It was brazen,” Davidson said when asked about the burglaries. “Normally, residential burglaries happen during the daytime hours when the thieves believe that people are at work or not at home.”
Keenum said the night his home was robbed, he and his wife had left the garage door open and car doors unlocked.
“It’s not something that we do, but it was a one in a million time that we didn’t close the door that night,” he said.
Homeowners change habits
Since that night, the couple has made sure all of their doors are closed and locked, and Keenum said they even changed procedures, including where they put their purse and wallet at home. They have also upgraded their home’s security by installing cameras with voice recognition and glass-breaking motion detectors.
“We realized that we just had things we needed to do, but the fact that these guys have been caught is very good,” he said.
As for the pistol that was stolen, Keenum said it hasn’t been recovered.
Davidson said other stolen items are slowly being returned to the homeowners, though.
She also reminds residents to continue the habit of securing all home entrances at night, removing valuables from cars, especially firearms, and leaving exterior lighting on.
“These measures go a long way toward preventing similar future crimes,” she said.
Anyone with additional information on the case is asked to contact Cobb Police at (770) 499-3962.