Over two days last week, a group of teenage boys broke into a Clayton County used car lot twice and stole 10 cars, according to police.
All six boys, ages 15 and 16, are now facing charges of burglary and theft. They were arrested after Clayton County sheriff’s deputies spotted one of the stolen vehicles in Forest Park and found some of the boys inside.
“This led to the identification and arrest of six juvenile suspects and the recovery of 10 vehicles," Jonesboro police said Monday in a news release.
Jonesboro police investigated the first break-in at Hardin Auto on July 30. Someone used a rock to bust through a window and take several sets of keys, according to police. Five cars were also stolen from the lot on North Main Street.
Investigators obtained video surveillance from surrounding businesses to determine the time of the theft. While they were still at the car lot, one of the stolen vehicles was found off North Lake Drive, police said. A second vehicle was found shortly after.
But there were still keys unaccounted for, police said, and they suspected the thief would try again. The next night, an officer keeping a lookout at the car lot spotted a 15-year-old boy enter the property “acting in a suspicious manner.”
“The officer called for backup and approached the business as the subject ran from officers but was apprehended after a short foot chase,” police said.
On Thursday morning, police discovered another break-in at Hardin Auto. This time, four cars were stolen.
“The entry into the building was again through a window busted with a rock,” police said. “It appears the suspects returned while the officers were busy with the suspect that was apprehended.”
It is not clear when the last car was stolen.
All the vehicles have since been recovered, with minimal damage, and returned to the owner. The boys will be charged as juveniles and will not be identified, police said.
In other news:
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.
With the largest team in the state, the AJC reports what’s really going on with your tax dollars and your elected officials. Subscribe today. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.
Your subscription to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.