An Atlanta man was convicted Thursday of stealing $25,000 in air conditioning equipment from a Cobb County church and breaking into a nearby hotel.
Cobb Superior Judge Kimberly Childs sentenced Marchello Lee, 36, to five years in prison and 15 years probation for his two charges of burglary, one theft count and single charge of damaging property, according to the Cobb district attorney’s office.
Lee broke into Impact Worship Center at 6925 Mableton Parkway, which was under construction, on June 28, 2015.
Prosecutors said most of the air conditioning equipment he stole was new and still in boxes.
But Lee goofed. He left behind a piece of mail with his name and address at the scene.
Weeks later on Aug. 21, Lee broke into a warehouse of the Efficiency Lodge motel, 5401 Old Floyd Road. A witness called police after recognizing the van Lee was driving because it’d been there a few days before.
Investigators traced the van to its previous owner, who had placed a GPS unit inside. Police analyzed months of the van’s movements and found it had been at the scene of the burglaries.
“Having the GPS on the van was the icing – you couldn’t make this up,” said the prosecutor Marty First in a news release.
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.