Neighbors, social media help police identify driver wanted in thefts

Neighbors, social media help police identify driver wanted in thefts

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Police have identified a man they say is connected to thefts in the West Albany area.

Albany Police and Dougherty County Police are taking out warrants for 53-year-old Joe Holden Jr.

They said he was last seen driving a 1994 black Ford Ranger with Georgia tag PQV2090 seen in the photo.

Social media played a big part in helping police identify Holden Jr. as the suspected carport bandit.

Lynn Gray saw a Black Ford truck go slowly down her alley on North Valencia Drive Monday, and knew it could be involved in burglaries.

"I had seen on Facebook that morning that this had been going around in Lake Park, so I got a little bit suspicious," said Gray.

Gray spotted the driver going through her neighbor's carport, and called police.

"I went outside and confronted him and said I had called the police and he needed to get out of here. Luckily he sped off," she said.

Wednesday on Crofton Drive Kristen Smith saw a man in her garage.

"I see him turn around and grab my husband'sweed eaterr and put it in the back of his truck and then high-tail it out of my driveway," said Smith.

She gave police a description of the truck. An Albany Police officer later pulled it over on Old Dawson Road. Dash cam video showed the driver suddenly speed away in the crowded parking lot, and the officer did not pursue him.

WALB News 10 aired that picture of the truck Tuesday night, and Sam Law on Crofton Drive recognized the freezer in the back of the truck.

"After seeing the story on the news this morning, he realized that was his freezer, and he called and reported it this morning," said Dougherty County Police Lt. Chad Kirkpatrick.

Warrants have been issued for Holden Jr. Police say when people catch him in their carports, he claims he is seeking work pressure washing houses.

Russell and Lynn Gray urge neighborhood watches to continue using social media.

"Social media, Yahoo, and Facebook have been instrumental in getting the word out and sharing information between neighbors," said Russell Gray.

They hope the suspected carport burglar will be caught soon.

Many of the victims said they will keep their garage doors down from now on.

Anyone with information is asked to call Albany Police at 229-431-2132 or CrimeSTOPPERS to remain anonymous AT 436-TIPS.

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