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County sees slew of auto break-ins

COVINGTON - The Newton County Sheriff's Office is looking for a break to help them solve a rash of automobile break-ins in the Butler Bridge Road and Falls subdivision areas.

There were at least nine reported incidents that took place the middle of last week, according to NCSO incident reports obtained Tuesday.

"We're beefing up patrols in that area during the evening watch and morning watch," said NCSO spokesman Lt. Mark Mitchell. "Also, we're hoping someone will call us and give us some information that will give us some kind of break in the case. We're hoping someone will see something or someone in the area will know something."

Mitchell said stolen items where serial numbers were furnished were entered on the Georgia Crime Information Center network and investigators are hopeful they will be able to track anything that is pawned or sold back to those responsible.

In several instances, after breaking into the vehicles, the thieves apparently didn't find anything they wanted, so nothing was taken.

"Some of these were crimes of opportunity where someone just left their car unlocked. It's not their fault, but (the thieves) usually look for something where they won't have to make a lot of noise. But, there was forcible entry, too, and they did break out the windows on vehicles that were locked," Mitchell said.

Several GPS navigation systems and cell phones were taken and at least two weapons - a black Glock 9 mm and a Desert Eagle .44-caliber Magnum automatic pistol - were stolen. Also, multiple credit cards, drivers licenses and other personal identification information was taken.

According to incident reports, many of the crimes took place at a string of houses adjacent to each other on Falls Boulevard. Mitchell said it is unknown how the perpetrators went into the area, but in the past he's seen thieves park outside a subdivision and walk in. He said they often carry tools for breaking into the vehicles in a book bag or similar bag that is big enough to put whatever they steal into, as well.

He urged anyone who may have seen any suspicious person on foot or in a vehicle during the early morning hours of June 25, to call the sheriff's office at 678-625-1401.

Tips can also be given to the NCSO anonymously at 678-625-5007 or through their Web site at www.newtonsheriffga.org and clicking on "anonymous tip line." Those who want a response from NCSO personnel should leave contact information.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.