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Officer Spotlight: CPD Officer Spencer Holland
Good eye, quick thinking cracks robbery case
Conyers Police Officer Spencer Holland

Law Enforcement Appreciation Week
The Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce is thanking the men and women who work to keep the community safe during National Law Enforcement Appreciation Week, May 11-15, 2015, with a luncheon for Conyers Police Department and Rockdale County Sheriff's Office on May 15 at 1400 Parker Road. The Chamber is asking local businesses to show their appreciation during this week as well.

A good memory about a suspicious vehicle led Conyers Police Officer Spencer Holland to enable the capture of the suspect in 35 armed robberies last fall, an achievement for which the American Legion Post 77 recently named him Officer of the Year.

"I just happened to be in the right place at the right time," Holland told the News this week, recalling the Oct. 30 incident that led him to identify a Douglasville man as the robbery suspect wanted by the FBI.

While responding to a domestic disturbance call that day, Holland saw an SUV cut off another car ahead of him, forcing him to hit the brakes on his police cruiser.

"I was thinking, ‘This guy is up to something,'" Holland said. But the call took priority, so he did not pull the driver over.

A short time later, Holland responded to a call for an armed robbery at a local TitleBucks loan store off Ga. Hwy. 138 and Flat Shoals Road. A masked gunman had locked the employees and a customer in a back room before fleeing. On the way, he saw the same SUV in the area again.

Holland then remembered that the SUV matched the description of a vehicle seen fleeing the scene of a similar robbery in Gwinnett six months earlier. Using an automatic license-plate reader mounted on his car, Holland was able to connect the vehicle to Avery Frazier of Douglasville.

Other evidence soon connected Frazier to a string of pawn and title-loan robberies, police officials said, including a February 2014 robbery of Georgia Autopawn on 138. The FBI became involved, and Frazier was arrested in November in Douglasville.

Conyers Police Chief Gene Wilson told the News that Holland helped to crack "one of the largest serial armed robbery cases in my time in Georgia."

"He was so observant that day," Wilson said, praising Holland's ability to remember the suspicious-vehicle description from a half-year earlier.

Holland is in his fifth year as a Conyers police officer. He said he prefers the night shift, which he worked for three years. But these days, he's working the day shift now that he and wife Krista have children ages 2 and 7 months.

Holland said he appreciated the Legion's recognition and enjoyed the ceremony, where he received a plaque.

"It was really nice to do it," he said.