Four suspects are in custody and one remains at large following a “smash and grab” burglary at Atlanta West Jewelry in Douglasville.
The suspects, three adults and one juvenile, were taken into custody Monday morning for their involvement in the burglary at the business on Douglas Boulevard. The three adults appeared in Douglas County court Tuesday for bond hearings.
Johnny Dorsey, 19, was charged with burglary (smash and grab), theft by taking, obstruction and possession of tools during the commission of a crime. Terry Eugene Springs, 22, was charged with burglary (smash and grab), reckless driving and driving without a permit. Devon Odem, 17, was charged with burglary (smash and grab) and obstruction.
Magistrate Judge Barbara Caldwell denied Dorsey and Springs’ bond. Caldwell set a $10,000 cash only bond for Odem. Dorsey was the first to appear before the judge.
According to the warrants, he entered the business by smashing the front door with a rock, causing over $500 in damage. He is also accused of damaging a glass display case by striking it with a rock and another object.
“In the early morning hours, we got dispatched to Atlanta West Jewelry,” Police Lt. Adam Cannon said. “When officers responded, they noticed extensive damage to the store front along with extensive damage inside the business with several glass jewelry cases being busted out. The officers noticed several pieces of merchandise laying in the store and right outside the door of the store. Other officers responded (and) started checking the general area. The Arbor Station subdivision lies right behind Atlanta West Jewelry, which is connected by a small patch of woods.”
Officers in the area observed a vehicle leaving the area, according to Cannon.
“The officer went to stop the vehicle,” he said. “The vehicle fled a small distance where it finally came to a stop on Cobblestone Court where three individuals bailed out on foot including this gentleman here. The officer gave chase. The subjects refused to stop. He eventually returned back to the car where one of the other codefendants attempted to flee in the vehicle. He was able to get the vehicle to stop (and) take the driver in custody. Several pieces of merchandise belonging to Atlanta West Jewelry was inside the vehicle.”
Dorsey was reportedly taken into custody a short time later with the help of the sheriff’s department.
“It should be noted that there is extensive damage to this business,” Cannon said. “This is an ongoing investigation. We have one subject still at large. Mr. Dorsey has not been cooperative in our investigation.”
Tiffany Stovall, who owns Atlanta West Jewelry with her brother, told the judge how the burglary has impacted their business.
“We work very hard for what we have and nothing comes easy,” Stovall said. “There’s a consequence for every decision you make and I’m tired of paying the consequences for someone who doesn’t want to go to work or obviously wants to take someone else’s property and damage it the way they did. I’ve been in the jewelry business since I was 16. But I’ve owned my own business for 23 years and it has cost us extensive damage.”
They business had recently moved to its current location.
“We hadn’t even been in this new location for 90 days yet,” Stovall said.
During Springs’ hearing, it was revealed that he was the driver.
“Mr. Springs was interviewed,” Cannon said. “During the interview, the only thing he was concerned about was getting out of jail so he could return to Charlotte, North Carolina.”
Springs, who is on probation in Cobb County for aggravated assault and attempted robbery, claims he was not a willing participate in the burglary.
“I was there and everything, but this was non-premeditated,” he said.
Springs also claims that his probation was getting transferred to North Carolina.
“I haven’t been in trouble since ‘08,” he said. “I’m just on probation from that and they was moving me back to North Carolina... I had permission to have the car. I was dropping people off in Douglas... But once it happened, I was forced into this. I didn’t smash anything. I didn’t break anything. I do admit that I went in. But I didn’t grab anything. They wanted me to hold the bag for them. Nothing was put in my bag.”
But Cannon told the judge that the video contradicts Springs’ story.
“He’s saying it was forced (and) he didn’t participate, but we got a video that shows him willfully adding stuff to his bag that he carried in,” he said.