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Citizens help NCSO catch 4 burglars in act

COVINGTON -- Newton County Sheriff's Office deputies have apprehended four men in connection with several burglaries that occurred early this week, and Sheriff Ezell Brown is praising citizens who played a part in the arrests.

According to NCSO spokesman Lt. Mark Mitchell, the first incident occurred Monday around 6:45 a.m. when an employee of Insurance Auto Auction, located off Old Highway 138 in north Newton County, reported a burglary in progress. The employee called 911 and said there was a suspicious man on foot and a suspicious vehicle parked at the business. Apparently the suspects became aware they had been spotted and fled the area.

"The suspicious vehicle sped off as the male ran into the woods," Mitchell said. "(The employee) was able to give the 911 dispatcher a very good description of the suspect and vehicle."

Deputies were able to locate the vehicle and took a man and two women in the car into custody for questioning, Mitchell said.

"As units arrived on the scene of the reported burglary, a sheriff corporal spotted the male that ran into the woods and a brief foot chase ensued," Mitchell said.

The suspect, however, was able to get away and is still being sought by NCSO authorities.

The three suspects in the vehicle were arrested and charged as follows:

* Thomas Anthony Tate, 18, 3451 South Gate Drive, Conyers, charged with burglary, theft by taking, criminal trespass and obstruction of a law enforcement officer;

* Bridget Danielle Venable, 28, 3451 South Gate Drive, Conyers, charged with burglary, theft by taking and criminal trespass;

* Rachel Margaret Boatwright, 35, 1980 Old Concord Drive, charged with burglary, theft by taking and criminal trespass.

The following day around 11 a.m. NCSO deputies were dispatched to another burglary in progress at a residence located off Smith Store Road in the western portion of the county.

"The caller was inside his residence when the perpetrator made entry though a window," Mitchell said. "The complainant gave the 911 dispatcher an excellent description of the male suspect who fled the residence."

Another resident spotted the fleeing suspect and called 911 to tell deputies the man was seen running into the woods behind a subdivision.

"Alert deputies observed a male matching the description of the perpetrator talking to a homeowner at a residence off Mills Drive," Mitchell said, adding that when the suspect saw the deputies, he ran into the house of the man he was talking to. It was later discovered the suspect was a stranger to the homeowner.

"Sheriff's deputies acted quickly and were able to apprehend this suspect before he could get away," Mitchell said. "Further investigation by sheriff's deputies and criminal investigators revealed that this individual was also connected with another burglary in the area.

Quinmorris Antrell Tate, 24, of 458 Smith Store Road, was charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of criminal trespass, and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.

"This is what can be accomplished when members of the community and law enforcement work together," Brown said. "It takes a cooperative effort between law enforcement and the citizens of Newton County to make our quality of life better for us all."