CONYERS- The Conyers Police Department wants to remind everyone to lock their cars doors when leaving the vehicle unattended, especially overnight.
According CPD spokesperson Kim Lucas, since school let out for summer break, there have been several reports of items being taken from people's vehicles. The thefts are mostly occurring overnight at residential areas, such as Bridal ridge and North Ridge.
Lucas says the suspect(s) are targeting only unlocked vehicles.
"The suspect or suspects are just flipping door handles to see which are open," she said. "Just take precautions to lock your doors. Don't leave anything of value of your car, or at least don't let it been seen."
Some people may leave their door unlocked because they don't want potential thieves to break their car window, says Lucas, but that isn't the case in this situation.
"I can understand that, but that's the trend. The suspect or suspects are just flipping door handles," she said.
She says that whoever is committing the crimes wouldn't want to break a car window because that's "going to make a lot of noise" and "attract attention."
The CPD thinks the suspects are teenagers who may be out of school for the summer, and it has made one arrest so far in the case. Xavier Rogers, 18, was arrested for a robbery charge Thursday, but he may also be responsible for the rash of entered auto thefts that have been occurring in the city, according to Lucas.
"He and his associates are likely responsible for some of the thefts," she said.
Rodgers, a Conyers resident, contacted CPD Detective Dwayne Jones after hearing the police were looking for him, according to the police report. The two met at the Highland Baptist Church, 1381 Irwin Bridge Rd., Conyers, and Jones took Rodgers into custody for the robbery that occurred at the end of May.
On May 23, a pizza delivery person reported $20 in cash and a $65 pizza order being aggressively stolen from him after driving to 963 Northridge Drive to make the delivery around 11:30 p.m. The 19-year-old delivery man told Rockdale County Sheriff's Office (RCSO) deputies two suspects came out of the house and stated that they were waiting for their uncle to return with the money.
Then, the victim told police one suspect got behind him and "wrapped his hand around his neck telling him to give up the pizza," according to the deputy's report.
One suspect, 17-year-old Marquise Glover, was arrested about an hour after the incident. Deputies found Glover at his mother's Conyers residence hiding underneath a sheet with a box of the stolen pizza.
Rodgers is believed to be the suspect who put the victim in the "chokehold," according to RCSO Cpl. Michael Camp.
Rodgers had another warrant for his arrest out of Newton County for a probation violation as well.
The CPD is still investigating to see if they can add theft charges to Rodgers' list of crimes. He is currently being held in Rockdale County Jail with a $10,000 bond.
Even with Rodgers being behind bars, the entered auto thefts continued Sunday night, according to Lucas. Several people reported thefts of items inside their vehicles that were parked along Pine Log Road.
Lucas says the suspect in those thefts is believed to be a white male in their 30s, and he was flipping door handles to see which ones were opened.
"We're still combating this unlocked car issue," she said.