Burglars missed by 20 seconds
Twenty seconds. That’s the length of time between when suspected burglars left a local liquor store and an East Ellijay policeman arrived on the scene as part of his normal patrol duties.
“Looking at the video, when they left the parking lot my night shift officer pulled in 20 seconds later,” Chief Larry Callahan said of the Appalachian Beverage footage. “But in all honesty, that might’ve been a good thing. These folks are pretty rough, and there might have ended up being a gun battle. We do believe they’re armed.”
The perpetrators were at the store around 3 a.m. on March 2, and although Callahan was not specific about what they stole, he doesn’t think it was their only stop during the night.
“We’re pretty sure it’s this crew that’s come out of Atlanta that’s responsible for these, but I should just backtrack and say all over the southeast,” he said last week.
“They hit the Rebel Pantry up there on the Fannin-Gilmer line, Appalachian Beverage, Bigun’s Barbecue (Talking Rock) and possibly a nail salon in Jasper as well, on the same night.”
Callahan said a task force has been set up to “try and deal with” the suspects who are hitting and running in several towns.
“They’re professional at what they do, their methods are pretty much the same each time,” he said of the perpetrators. “At Jasper a few weeks ago they had an officer approach some of the same gang and caught them, and they were armed and actually tried to hit them with their car. Things work out for a reason, but we sure would like to catch them.”
Jasper Police are investigating burglaries at three separate locations that occurred after business hours between Wednesday, March 1, and Thursday, March 2, the Pickens Progress reported.
The time frame fits with the burglaries in East Ellijay and Fannin County.
The thieves hit Nails & Spa 4 U and Mellow Mist vape shop in Pickens, both located in the retail strip on Mountainside Village Parkway off Highway 515 next to Rocco’s Pub, and Dunn’s North convenience store off Highway 515.
Sgt. Matt Dawkins with the Jasper Police Department said the doors were popped open with a crowbar but no glass was broken, the newspaper reported.
The three burglaries occurred a day after two different convenience store burglaries in Pickens County, one at Main Stop Market on N. Main Street and one at Faz Corner in Marble Hill, according to the Progress.
Sheriff Dane Kirby with the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office told The News Observer in Blue Ridge that it appeared the suspects use a rental car and “hit and run” tactics, and that surveillance video in one store shows two young black men and a young black woman as suspects.