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LPD, TCSO make arrest in auto shop crime spree

UPDATED: On Monday, at 6 p.m., a 15-year-old juvenile was arrested by LaGrange Police as part of this investigation.

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A 16-year-old juvenile has been arrested in connection to a crime spree connected to numerous auto shop break-ins within the last month.

As a result of the arrest and subsequent investigation, the juvenile was charged with 11 counts of auto theft and 12 counts of burglary within Troup County, according to a press release from the LaGrange Police Department.

The identity of additional suspects have also been made and additional charges will be made in the coming days. Detective Stephen Spivey, the case detective for LPD, could not reveal the ages or number of additional suspects due to the case being ongoing, he said Monday.

At the time of his arrest, the juvenile was in possession of keys belonging to other stolen vehicles that had been previously recovered.

According to Spivey, the Troup County Juvenile Court was contacted due to the age of the suspect. He was subsequently released pending a juvenile court hearing.

The LaGrange Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Section and Troup County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division worked together on the investigations over the past few weeks. As a result of these investigations, all vehicles that have been stolen, with the exception of one, have been returned to the owners or are in the process of being returned to the owners.

In May, LPD started investigating various burglaries that occurred throughout the city.

Per the press release, the burglaries began with the burglary and auto thefts that occurred at Quality Muffler (1112 Hogansville Road) and 85 South Auto’s (1028 Hogansville Road.)

These burglaries were unique in that the suspects were able to remove or disable the power meter boxes, and then force entry into the businesses, according to the press release.

Once inside, they would take any cash located, and car keys to vehicles. The keys were then used to steal vehicles from the property of these locations.

On May 31, the suspects removed the power meter from Ride n Steady Car Lot (201 New Franklin Road) and then forced entry into the building.

During this burglary, the suspects took a large amount of money, a firearm and more keys that were used to steal several vehicles from the lot.

On June 7, the suspects again removed the power meter from North Side Motors (527 New Franklin Road) and forced entry into the building.

Again, the suspects took cash, car keys and a car from the lot.

On this same date, the law enforcement believes the same suspects removed the power meter from Home Town Vapors (101 Harwell Avenue) and forced entry into the building taking a firearm and electronics.

The suspects then allegedly attempted to remove the power meter from LaGrange Car Wash (307 Vernon Street) and enter the building, but they were unsuccessful in their efforts to enter the location.

On June 10, the suspects removed the power meter from Traylors Pawn Shop (504 Greenville Street) and attempted to make forced entry into this building. This attempt was unsuccessful as they were unable to make entry into this location.

On June 12, the suspects removed the power meter from Williams Automotive (1201 Hogansville Road) and forced entry into the building.

At this time, the suspects took keys and removed two vehicles from the location. On the same date, the Troup County Sheriff’s Office responded to 2221 West Point Road (FMJ Armory). At this time, they found that someone had attempted to remove the power meter and force entry into this business.

This attempt was also not successful. The Troup County Sheriff’s Office then responded to Wicked Wrench 2726 West Point Road (2726 West Point Road), Aveen Motors (2688 West Point Road ) and Anglin Automotive (2001 Lukken Industrial Drive).  In each of those locations, the power meters were removed, forced entry was made and burglaries were then committed.

In connection with the break-ins, an auto theft was reported at 215 East Yorktown Drive, where the victim reported her vehicle, a 2007 Jeep, had been stolen while she was at a party at this location. Another victim reported that his 2013 Nissan Sentra had been stolen from 800 Daniel Street on the same day.

On June 13, 2021, another victim reported her 2012 Honda Accord had been stolen from 701 Fourth Avenue.

Following the auto theft that occurred at 701 Fourth Avenue, the suspect was quickly located with the assistance of the victim, where he was taken into custody. Anyone with information regarding these burglary cases is asked to call the LaGrange Police Department at (706) 883-2603 or Troup County Crime Stoppers at (706) 812-1000.