Police nab suspect in burglary

CONYERS - Law enforcement credited the quick thinking of a homeowner in the arrest of a burglary suspect after he allegedly threw a rock into window of a south Rockdale County house Thursday.

The Rockdale County Sheriff's Office arrested Hartley Alan Cooper, Jr., 19, of 2522 Meadowmist Place at his home Thursday afternoon. He was charged with criminal conspiracy in connection with the attempted break-in of his neighbor's house on Briarlea Path in the Oaks of Brentwood subdivision.

The homeowner told investigators that someone rang his doorbell, but he declined to answer because he didn't know the man outside. The man walked off and the homeowner didn't think any more about the incident until the same man returned about 20 minutes later and again rang his doorbell, said RCSO spokeswoman Sgt. Myra Pearrell.

A few moments later, the homeowner said he saw the man walk around the back of his house, then a rock came crashing through a window, Pearrell said.

The homeowner yelled that he was calling the police, then immediately dialed 911. The suspect ran away, but deputies arrived in the area where they located and arrested Cooper.

"The arrest came about from the clear thinking of the homeowner because he gave us a good description of the suspect and the car," Pearrell said.

Deputies found the burgundy Buick Regal described by the homeowner abandoned down the street with its hazard lights on. They were able to trace the car back to Cooper, who was located at his house.

Cooper remained in the Rockdale County Jail on Friday awaiting bond, Pearrell said.

Jay Jones can be reached at jay.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.