Eight arrested in multi-county burglary ring

by: Richard Elliot Updated:

CARROLL COUNTY, Ga. - Eight people are in jail charged with being part of a multi-county burglary ring.  Investigators think they might be responsible for as few as 25 and as many as 75 car and home break-ins in the West Georgia area.

Law enforcement officers from Carroll and Douglas County sheriff's offices, along with agents from the West Metro Drug Task Force and the Carrollton Police ACE unit participated in the raids and arrests.

Carroll County deputies said they raided two homes on Long Branch Road in Villa Rica and discovered a stolen motorcycle and car, along with other stolen property.  They also said they found methamphetamines, marijuana and other prescription medications.

Investigators confirm the thieves targeted neighborhoods along the Carroll-Douglas County line, both inside and outside the city of Villa Rica.

Douglas County deputies said in a statement that they believe the thieves used the stolen itmes to trade for drugs or pawned them to get money to buy drugs.

"There were some break-ins during the day which they would drive through the neighborhood and see which houses didn't have cars in front of the home," said Villa Rica resident Craig Celgin.  "And so once they cased the house, obviously they'd come around back and break-in and do what they were going to do and then they'd be gone."

Celgin said thieves targeted his neighborhood a few months back.

"I think for a lot of people there was a lot of fear and trepidation that when they got home, something would be amiss," said Celgin.

Charles Frost, Rachel Gay, Janet Wright, Duane Cox, Sasha Wilbanks, Joselyn Norris, Calvin King and Lonnie Wilkins remain in the Carroll County jail on drug and stolen property possession charges.

"It's kind of scary," said Villa Rica resident Adrian Bush.  "I'm glad they're off the streets, and so they're not out here in the neighborhoods."