Man accused of violent drug-fueled crime spree

by: Mike Petchenik Updated:

Alpharetta police say a crime spree suspect carjacked a teen picking up her father from work outside North Point Mall on Friday.

A Hall County man faces accusations he went on a drug-fueled crime spree that included two armed robberies, a car theft, and the carjacking of a Sandy Springs high school student.

Edward Kim, 31, faces several charges, including armed robbery, aggravated assault and kidnapping.

Investigators said Kim stole his sister’s SUV and two handguns in Cumming on Friday, then drove to Alpharetta, where they said he robbed a costume jewelry store on Windward Parkway.

“I was really scared,” Bejewel store employee Jeong Su Park told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik.

Park told Petchenik that the attacker pulled a gun on her and threatened her.

“He said, ‘Open the register,’ so I opened the register and he took the money,” she said.

Park showed Petchenik surveillance video of the attack. In the video, the assailant casually walked into the store and forced Park to the register. The attacker told her not to call the police because he would be watching her.

Investigators said Kim’s spree continued Friday night in the parking lot of North Point Mall where, they said, he carjacked a 16-year-old girl picking up her father from work.

“She got out of her car and heard a voice behind her saying ‘You dropped something,’ and she turned around and there was a gun in her face,” the girl’s father told Petchenik.

The man, who asked not to be identified, told Petchenik that the man pistol-whipped his daughter and forced her to drive the family’s Kia Soul around Alpharetta for nearly an hour with a gun to her head.

Police said Kim was trying to force the girl to withdraw money from ATMs, but she told him she didn’t have a bank account.

“He was searching her and her pockets,” said the girl’s father.  “He kept on threatening her that he was going to shoot her if she didn’t turn over her money.”

Police said Kim finally released the girl at an office on Old Milton Parkway.

“He hit her again with the gun in the eye and roughed her up some more and took off in the car,” said her father.

Then Saturday, Duluth police said Kim robbed a Peachtree Industrial Boulevard Rite-Aid store.  Police said surveillance camera at the store captured Kim driving away in the stolen truck. 

On Monday, police said they got a break when the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office fugitive squad tracked Kim to Sandy Springs, where police pulled him over in the stolen Kia Soul and recovered one of the stolen guns and the disguise police said he used in the robberies.

“He made a spontaneous utterance that he was an addict and that’s why he committed this crimes,” said Alpharetta police spokesman George Gordon.  “We’re thankful to get him off the street.”

The carjacking victim’s father told Petchenik she’s traumatized by what happened and will seek counseling.  He said she was relieved to hear of Kim’s arrest.

“We hope he gets put away for a long time,” the man said.