BROOKHAVEN, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - The DeKalb County homeowner targeted by three young burglars early Thursday shared photos of his damaged screen and window. He did not want to speak on camera, but Brookhaven Police say the victim and his family were stunned as they heard the commotion of someone cutting through the window screen to get inside the townhome.
"They were woken up to this the sound of the young man coming in after the suspects cut the window screen. The homeowner confronted the suspects just after 2 a.m. and that's when the suspects fled the location. It appears the suspects did not intend to have an encounter with the homeowners," said Brookhaven Police Major Brandon Gurley.
Major Gurley said the three teenagers, all males, ages 19, 15 and 13, were arrested within minutes of the 911 call from the townhome on Limehurst Drive.
"All three of the suspects were spotted in the parking lot and ran briefly before they were apprehended. All three have a history with our police department for theft-related incidents, so they were familiar to our officers," Gurley told FOX 5's Portia Bruner.
According to police, the 19-year-old burglary suspect, Gustavo Garcia, lives near the Views at Lenox Crossing where he was arrested early Thursday morning.
Kaitlyn Ban owns a home not far from The Views townhome community. She told Bruner she was grateful to hear Brookhaven police made such a quick arrest, but disturbed to hear the suspects are so young.
"They're just so young. They have the rest of their lives ahead of them and to hear they've now done this enough times to be taken away just really saddens me," said Ban.
Major Gurley said the parents of troubled teens with who are repeat offenders should reach out for help from the courts and the juvenile justice system for intervention, but he says the problem isn't limited to parents.
"We have to hold some accountability to the court system that's releasing these repeat offenders into the system every time we arrest them. It's a joint effort. It's not just on the parents but also on the system and how we deal with young people who repeatedly defy authority," said Major Gurley.