Team effort nabs suspects in multi-jurisdiction crimes

Special to Fayette Newspapers

A joint effort between the Peachtree City Police Department, Coweta County Sheriff’s Office, Fayetteville Police Department, and Tyrone Police Department has resulted in several arrests, across three jurisdictions, for thefts from vehicles and other related crimes.

On Saturday, November 18, a patrol sergeant from the Peachtree City Police Department stopped a vehicle for a minor traffic violation and found that the driver had been involved in thefts from vehicles in Fayetteville and Coweta County. Several stolen items were recovered from the vehicle and turned over to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for further investigation.

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, November 21, a Tyrone officer noticed two vehicles driving without their lights on in the area of Dogwood Trail. As he attempted to conduct a traffic stop, one driver pulled over and abandoned a Honda Ridgeline while the other fled in a Volkswagen Golf. Both vehicles were later determined to be stolen from the MacDuff Pkwy area in Peachtree City. The Tyrone officer pursued the Volkswagen back into Peachtree City, where the pursuit ended on Wisdom Rd after the driver crashed into a berm near Peachtree City Elementary School. The driver fled on foot and stole a golf cart from a nearby neighborhood, where he found the cart in an open garage with the key in it. He managed to escape capture at that time, but his wallet and cell phone were recovered from the scene of the crash. Benjamin Burns, 18, of Wynnmeade Pkwy in Peachtree City was arrested later the same day when officers were waiting for him as he returned to the scene to search for his property.

Peachtree City Detectives determined that Burns and several associates were involved in a long string of crimes that began in the late afternoon hours of Monday, November 20. The group stole two golf carts from the Wynnmeade neighborhood and later committed thefts from numerous unlocked vehicles in the Cedar Croft and Chadsworth neighborhoods. Burns and another adult suspect, Jason Brook, 17, of Steven’s Entry in Peachtree City stole a Honda Ridgeline from one neighborhood and the Volkswagen Golf from another. Both vehicles were unlocked and had the keys in them. Two 16-year-old male juveniles were charged with the golf cart thefts, but broke contact with Burns and Brook before the remainder of the crimes transpired.

Burns and Brook are additionally charged with Criminal Attempt to Commit Armed Robbery, as they traveled to a nearby restaurant to commit a robbery with a gun they took from an unlocked vehicle. They abandoned the attempted robbery due to circumstances that remain undisclosed at this time as investigation continues. Burns and Brook are also each currently charged with three counts of Entering Auto, with the count expected to rise as investigation continues. Burns and Brook are also charged with four felony thefts related to the two golf carts and two stolen vehicles. Burns was charged with Burglary (1st Degree) for entering the garage of a residence to steal a golf cart.

Investigation into recent activities of this group revealed that Brook and several other associates were involved with some of the same recent entering auto cases in Fayetteville and Coweta County that were identified in the November 18 incident. Peachtree City Detectives are assisting investigators from those agencies in obtaining relevant charges against the involved individuals, some of which have already been taken into custody.

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