FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Within the past three weeks, 14 local businesses have been burglarized — eight by one suspect and six by another.
Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Doug Rainwater advises business owners to be mindful of unknown cars driving behind stores because these suspects are still at large.
“They will keep going,” Rainwater said. “They will run out of the petty cash and they’ll be back.”
The most recent eight burglaries occurred Oct. 9 by an unknown suspect.
Deputies said three businesses in the Lanier Crossing shopping center and three businesses in the Merchant Square shopping center, both at the intersections of Hutchinson Road and Atlanta Highway, were broken into.
The owners of Lescoo Oriental and Fashion, Hair Vision and Simple Strands in the Merchant Square shopping center found their front door locks punched out and items thrown about.
The owner of Hair Vision told deputies the cash register with $120 was stolen, and the other two businesses did not report missing items.
Across the street at Lanier Crossing shopping center, the owners of Moon Nails, Lanier Haircutters and Cumming Shoe Repair and Alterations found their front door locks punched out and the cash registers stolen.
Deputies said a woman found the Lanier Haircutters’ cash register on the ground outside of AllState Insurance, 3625 Hutchinson Road. About $400 was taken from it, but the suspect left the register and a crow bar behind.
Moon Nails’ cash register had no money inside, and Cumming Shoe Repair and Alterations had about $150 stolen.
About eight miles down Atlanta Highway, Salon 999 and V Nails and Spa, 5670 Atlanta Highway, were broken into the same way, also on Oct. 9.
Deputies said nothing was reported missing from V Nails, but $200 was stolen from Salon 999.
Rainwater said the same suspect committed these eight burglaries because he left a “signature.”
“All the front door locks were punched out the same way,” Rainwater said.
Rainwater said businesses in Johns Creek and Gwinnett County have had their locks punched out recently, and a tri-county investigation is underway to see if the same suspect is responsible.
Deputies said the other six burglaries were committed by a man with a multi-colored tattoo that travels from his elbow to his wrist on his right arm.
Deputies were able to get still photos of this man from Publix, 3480 Keith Bridge Road, where he attempted to cash stolen lottery tickets.
Deputies said the lottery tickets were stolen from the Exxon gas station at Hammond’s Crossing, 3375 Keith Bridge Road.
On Sept. 28, the suspect pried open the back door of the store and stole 11 rolls of $20 lottery tickets and $5,000 from the safe and cash register.
The same night, the suspect broke into the Chevron gas station, 5035 Ga. 400, and ransacked the cash register.
Rainwater said this suspect broke into four other businesses the same way — entering through the back of the businesses and ripping open the door with a pry bar.
The male suspect is between 25 and 30 years old, 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10 tall, 145 to 155 pounds and has medium length brown hair.
If you have any information, call the sheriff’s criminal investigators at 770-781-2200.