BUTTS COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Investigators believe he broke into dozens of cars in Jackson and now a teenager is in custody.
Friday Griffin Police arrested Madarius Serve' Johnson, 19, on unrelated charges, but investigators with the Butts County Sheriff's Office said they linked him to at least 16 car break-ins on June 28 and another 10 the following weekend. In every single case, the cars were left unlocked.
"It was the old, classic 'clicking' where they go around checking door handles to see if the car's locked and if it's not locked, then they would enter into the car," explained Sheriff Gary Long.
Surveillance video from the neighborhood as well as Johnson's own social media posts helped them identify him as a suspect.
"It captures a lot of footage and a lot of evidence that we would not have had if we didn't have the videos," said Capt. Richard Gandee.
In most of the cases, investigators said Johnson and his accomplices stole change or cash, but they also took four handguns that had been left unsecured.
"[That] just puts so many people at risk and so many people at danger and not only are we leaving a car unlocked where they can steal our valuables but now we're giving them something that ultimately they could take our lives with," said Sheriff Long.
He encouraged everyone to take their firearms inside with them instead of leaving them in an unattended car.
Johnson is in the Spalding County Jail and will likely face multiple counts of entering auto. Investigators could make more arrests.