An Atlanta police officer recently resigned amid an internal investigation.
About two weeks later, he allegedly robbed two people at gunpoint in a Cobb County hotel while wearing his former department’s uniform and badge.
Justin Mikale Thorne, 22, of Atlanta, was arrested Friday on multiple felonies after he was connected to the alleged armed robbery, Cobb police told Channel 2 Action News. On Tuesday, a surveillance photo was released that appears to show Thorne inside the Comfort Inn & Suites off Windy Hill Road just before the Oct. 17 incident.
In the photo, he is seen wearing what looks like an Atlanta police uniform, badge, vest, hat and gun. The two victims, who are from Arkansas, were robbed of $800 and an iPhone, police told Channel 2. They were not hurt during the incident.
Atlanta police told AJC.com that Thorne was under investigation by the department after he allegedly offered to take money from a suspect in exchange for making an outstanding warrant “go away” in late September. When Thorne was approached by internal investigators, he “chose to abruptly resign on October 1,” the department said in a statement.
He had been with the department since October 2017 and worked as a patrol officer in southeast Atlanta.
“The Atlanta Police Department assisted Cobb County investigators in positively identifying Thorne in the crimes for which he has been arrested,” the statement continued. “The allegations against him are in absolute conflict with our department’s values and the oaths that our officers are sworn to uphold.”
Cobb police have not released any other information on the Oct. 17 incident because of an ongoing investigation, Channel 2 reported.
Thorne faces charges of armed robbery, impersonating an officer, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, Cobb jail records show. He remains in jail without bond.
Zachary Hansen, a Georgia native, covers economic development and commercial real estate for the AJC. He's been with the newspaper since 2018 and enjoys diving into complex stories that affect people's lives.