COWETA COUNTY, Ga. - They used a torch to cut through a super heavy steel gate to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars of high-end trucks from a Coweta Automotive dealership.
Now Southtowne Chevrolet in Newnan has teamed up with Newnan Police with a big reward will halt this burglary ring before it’s clandestine crew strikes again.
“This is the guy who cut the gate,” said Newnan Police Deputy Chief Mark Cooper as he pointed to a video of a man pacing back and forth at the steel gate.
Investigators want the public to take a close look at the stocky built man who investigators have called the gatekeeper.
Gatecutter also seems like an appropriate description since he used a torch to cut the hinges off of a massive steel gate at the overflow lot of Southtowne Chevrolet.
“They’d have to have been professional quarter inch plate steel is not easy to cut through. What does that tell you? They came prepared,” said Jim McGraw with Southtowne Chevrolet.
Newnan Police said four men walked onto to the overflow in the early morning hours of October 29.
“They break into we believe 12 of the lockboxes that contain the keys,” said Deputy Chief Cooper.
He said with the help of the gatekeeper, who had already cut the gate and opened it, the group nonchalantly drove away in four diesel high-end trucks valued at around seventy thousand dollars each.
“They’re calm collected and waiting until the guy at the gate gives them some sort of signal, OK it’s time to roll,” said Deputy Chief Cooper.
Newnan Police said the group, who had twelve keys, had stolen four trucks earlier then returned to steal four more.
Investigators said they would have come back to make it an even dozen except one crook crashed a truck, managing to get away on foot.
Hopes are a big reward will lead to leads.
“We’ve offered three thousand. I know that Crime Stoppers offered two so that’s a total of five thousand right now,” said McGraw.
He said he hopes the combined reward monies will lead police to the gatekeeper, who has distinctive golden sneakers, and his accomplices who are accomplished at stealing vehicles.
“If they worked as hard at being a regular person doing a regular job they’d be rich by now because they obviously put a lot of work into doing this,” said McGraw.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Newnan Police or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS.
Tipsters can remain anonymous.