Newton County Sheriff's Office makes arrest in 18 cases of entering auto

COVINGTON — The Newton County Sheriff’s Office has made an arrest in the recent spate of entering autos that has occurred in the southern portion of the county.

Justin Vaughn James, 21, of 30 Pope Trail is facing 18 counts of burglary in the second degree (entering auto) in connection with the crimes.

In just one week in late July complaints came from residents of Knollwood Place, River Crest Lane, Hunter’s Ridge subdivision, Bohannon Road, Malcom Road, Fairway Trail, South River Road, Summer Breeze Court, Alcovy Reserve Way and East End Road, to name a few.

According to NCSO Public Information Officer Deputy Cortney Morrison, the method of the crimes were very similar.

“They were all forced entry by busting a window and the only things that were taken were things that could be reached from that point of entry. No doors were ever opened,” she said.

Investigators discovered people in the area were familiar with James and he surfaced as a suspect.

“He was identified by several witnesses as being in the area and also was identified from a photo line-up by witnesses and victims. In one case, a victim actually followed him and was able to get a tag number,” Morrison said.

Also, the perpetrator in these break-ins evidently was cut while smashing and reaching through the windows and DNA was obtained.

“We are awaiting DNA results and more charges could be pending when those tests are concluded,” Morrison said.