Posted: 5:35 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013

Police crack long-time theft ring in northern Duluth

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Theft ring photo
Duluth police say they've cracked a theft ring that may have been operating across the northern suburbs for years.

By Tony Thomas

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. —

Duluth police say they've cracked a theft ring that may have been operating across the northern suburbs for years.

Three men are in jail and others could be arrested in what detectives describe as an organized operation.

"It was a full-time job to them. Daytime they would rest, nighttime they would go out entering cars," said Duluth police Detective Bobby Johnson. "They were going out on a nightly basis and hitting 50 cars a night."

Reese Pool was one of those victims. He came out one morning to find his wife's credit cards stolen along with two DVD players that had been attached to the back of his headrests.

"It was all over the floor with the cards and everything, everything in the seats," Pool said.

Pool said he'd heard of at least 60 other break-ins in his apartment complex on Pleasant Hill Road and neighboring subdivisions. Police believe most of the thefts were never reported.

"It was more feeling like you're violated than anything," Pool said.

Duluth police are now working with investigators in Johns Creek and as far west as Cobb County who are trying to link the men to car break-ins across the metro.

Johns Creek police may have dozens of cases dating back to 2010 but have yet to file any official charges.

Sebastion Kicklighter, Fredrick Kicklighter and Chase Miciek are all being held without bond in the Gwinnett County Detention Center. Duluth has filed 14 counts against them and are seeking 26 more.

Investigators said the thieves would take anything of value from cars that were usually unlocked. They claim to have targeted GPS units, iPhones and iPads, along with cash.

"If they didn't think it was valuable they would just throw it back into the woods." Johnson said.

The detective said one of the suspects claimed they even took sunglasses and sold all the items either on the street or to pawn shops.

"They would say what you find is what you keep, that's how they operated, unless it was narcotics and then they would share it at the end of the night." Johnson said.

"I don't know if we will ever know the true number of entering auto's these individuals have done."

For Pool, he claims to have learned a valuable lesson in the loss of his valuables -- lock your vehicle.

"Make sure our doors are solidly locked, windows rolled up and don't give the people the things that they have done.

That's a lot of people getting robbed and a lot of pawn shops making money," he said.

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