Burglary investigations lead to drug arrests - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Burglary investigations lead to drug arrests

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By Robin Jedlicka - bio | email

January  26, 2009

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

Homes located on the busy 2400 block of Jerry Jones Drive were the targets of several violent burglaries last fall.

On Friday, police began making arrests related to the home invasions. They discovered that the crimes were not random.

"These people know each other, they've been around each other. There are certain groups and enclaves that know each other and know each other's activities, and that where most of this stems from," says Detective Steven Thompson.

Among the 14 arrested, three men were charged with robbery. Police say 23 year old Cooper Brice Bailey and 18-year old Austin Dalton robbed people in a home on Jerry Jones Drive in August and beat one man so badly that he required facial reconstructive surgery.

Baily was arrested over the weekend.  Dalton fled the scene, but was apprehended by the Lawrenceville Police Department on Monday.   

Police arrested Darius Jarod Sherman and Calvin Foster Jr. For burglarizing that same home in October. When police responded to the crime, they found drugs in the house.  This then led to the arrest of the home's resident, 21 year old Stephen Forte.

"We are outraged," says Commander Brian Childress.  "Because of their conduct, because what they've done in the past several months is they've created some hysteria here in Valdosta."

All other arrests were drug-related. "They were involved as far as drug activity and having dealings with this and having knowledge of the crimes that were taking place," explains Thompson.

Police worry the string of invasions spread fear throughout the city.  Commander Eugene Bell says, "We do have crime here in Valdosta, of course, like any other city. But these crimes were related."

They hope citizens find comfort in the fact that the suspects knew at least some of their victims and did not seem to be targeting random people.

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