Rifles stolen from Georgia Tech police SUVs during Atlanta protests

Authorities are still looking to recover weapons stolen from two Georgia Tech patrol vehicles damaged during the first weekend of violent demonstrations in Atlanta.

Three of Tech’s vehicles were parked outside of Ruth’s Chris Steak House on Marietta Street during the May 29 protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd. Their officers were among the 19 sent to secure the College Football Hall of Fame that night, according to a police report obtained Wednesday by AJC.com.

“During the civil unrest, and later rioting and looting that plagued the Zone 5 area of operations, these three vehicles were destroyed,” an Atlanta police officer said in the report. “All three vehicles were unoccupied, and no officers were injured as a direct result of the destruction of the vehicles.”

Two of the vehicles, a Dodge Charger and a Ford Explorer, were burned, according to Atlanta police. Georgia Tech told Atlanta investigators that all the contents of the Dodge were destroyed, but they believe a semi-automatic rifle was stolen from the Ford before it was set on fire.

A second Ford Explorer parked nearby was melted by the intense heat and flames from the other two patrol vehicles. Its windows were broken out and it was declared a total loss, according to the report. Another semi-automatic rifle was stolen from that vehicle, Georgia Tech police reported.

Later that night, one item reported missing from the burned Explorer showed up in Cobb County. A ticket book belonging to a Georgia Tech officer was found in the trunk of a Nissan Sentra pulled over near the intersection of Spring Drive and Cobb Parkway, according to police.

The Nissan was seen speeding away from Cumberland Mall about 3:20 a.m. and was eventually stopped after a pursuit, Cobb police said. Its occupants were from Michigan.

One passenger told Cobb police “that they were coming from the protests in Atlanta and were moving to Cumberland Mall to continue protesting,” an officer said in an arrest warrant.

The Nissan’s driver was arrested. Kynisha Dean, 25, of Plymouth, Michigan, was taken to the Cobb jail on a felony charge of obstruction and misdemeanor charges of fleeing police, loitering, giving false identification and driving without headlights.

Kynisha Dean

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

icon to expand image

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

Dean was released the next day on $1,500 bond, jail records show. According to Atlanta police, she is not facing charges related to the destruction of the Georgia Tech vehicles.

No arrests have been made in that case, Atlanta police spokeswoman Marla Rooker said Wednesday. One of the passengers in the Nissan is wanted in connection with the theft of the ticket book. An arrest warrant was issued June 11 for Christopher Torres of Traverse City, Michigan, according to records.

Anyone with information is asked to come forward. Tipsters can remain anonymous, and be eligible for rewards of up to $2,000, by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.