Cops: Burglars brazenly distract Buckhead couple, steal $100K in jewelry

A Buckhead home was burglarized by two suspects after one lured the residents outside by posing as a tree trimmer while the other took items from the house, Atlanta police said.
A Buckhead home was burglarized by two suspects after one lured the residents outside by posing as a tree trimmer while the other took items from the house, Atlanta police said.

Credit: Atlanta Police Department

Credit: Atlanta Police Department

About $100,000 worth of jewelry was taken from a Buckhead couple’s home recently after they were lured outside by burglars posing as tree trimmers, according to police.

The suspects, 27-year-old Justin Luigi Frank and 23-year-old Jacob Mitchell, were each arrested in different cities on warrants out of Florida, according to an Atlanta Police Department news release. Frank is in custody in New Orleans, while Mitchell is in custody in Houston.

The investigation is ongoing and Atlanta police anticipate securing warrants for both men, spokesman Sgt. John Chafee said.

The beginning of the May 29 incident was recorded on the home’s doorbell camera, which shows one of the suspects, a man in a blue shirt and blue face covering, speaking with one of the residents of the West Paces Ferry Road home.

The man says he is working on a neighbor’s trees near the woman’s property line and that he wants to show her “exactly what we’re doing.” The woman responds with, “OK, I’ll meet you in the back.”

The footage shows the second suspect in an orange shirt circling the home until finding an open door. It also shows the suspects’ SUV parked in the driveway, a white Chevrolet Suburban with a temporary dealer tag.

As the woman talked with the first suspect in the backyard, the second suspect encountered her husband in the foyer, according to the incident report. The second suspect told the man that his wife wanted him outside, and he left the house to meet her in the backyard.

After the suspects left the scene, the woman went to the bathroom and noticed two pairs of earrings missing from her vanity, which prompted her to look for a black nylon bag where she kept her valuable jewelry. She called the police when she found it missing.

Police placed the value of all the stolen property at more than $100,000. The report shows more than 30 items were taken from the home.

In a video posted by police, Chafee said investigators are looking into the possibility of other Atlanta burglaries involving the crew. He noted that anyone who encounters a similar situation should request a business card to check if the business is legitimate or call the police.

Chafee asked that anyone who believes they may be a victim of a similar incident or has information about the suspects to contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.

— Please return to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for updates.

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