Burglars escape, stolen merchandise recovered in Covington Snapper Pro Lawn heist

COVINGTON -- The Covington Police Department is looking for two thieves who burglarized Snapper Pro Lawn on Ga. Highway 36 Monday night, but have recovered the nearly $7,000 worth of merchandise that was taken.

A resident who lives near the store located at 10714 Ga. Highway 36 reported seeing a Silver Dodge Ram back up to the store and leave at a high rate of speed around 11:45 p.m. Simultaneously, CPD officers had responded to a burglar alarm at the location.

The resident told officers that he was sitting on his front porch when he saw the Dodge Ram stop on the side of the road and grab someone's trash can. The truck then pulled into the Snapper Pro Lawn parking lot and backed up to the door.

"(The resident) had to go back into his residence to grab his phone and flashlight ... (and) stated that he walked toward Snapper Pro and shined his flashlight at them, at which point two males jumped into the Silver Dodge Ram and sped off out of the parking lot north on Highway 36," a CPD incident report states, adding that the resident estimated the two were in the store about six to eight minutes.

Officers observed that the front door of the establishment had been smashed out and while waiting for the K-9 Unit to arrive to clear the area, officers learned that Newton County Sheriff's Office deputies were pursuing a silver pickup that was being driven at a high rate of speed and running red lights.

"Dispatch advised that the truck wrecked on Crowell Road just north of Brown Bridge. The county advised that the suspects fled on foot and the items matching the description of items in the store were in the bed of the silver Dodge Ram," the incident report states.

CPD officers determined a black bottle jack (a hydraulic jack that resembles the shape of a bottle) was used to break the front door of the store in order to enter it. Also, they noted the jack had caused slight damage to the hood of an off-road vehicle that was parked just inside the door to the store.

A cursory inventory of items stolen included eight Husqvarna chain saws, several pole saws and a hedge trimmer. These items were recovered in the wrecked pickup, which was found to be stolen out of Clayton County. Also recovered was a burgundy ball cap with the letter P on it.

Despite an intensive search for the two men who fled on foot, they were not located; however, around 4:30 a.m. reports came in to 911 about the sighting of two males dressed in all black walking down the side of Interstate 20. NCSO deputies responded, but were unable to locate the men.