by: Tony Thomas Updated:MARIETTA, Ga.,None —
Police aren't sure
why, but they said someone has been targeting the Fastenal Construction supply chain in a string of burglaries that now stretches across at least 11 metro counties.
Investigators said at least 14 Fastenal stores in metro Atlanta and three others in the Augusta area have been burglarized in the last few weeks.
One police chief tells Channel 2's Tony Thomas that it's almost like the suspect, or suspects, have a shopping list when they enter the business.
In a break-in in Watkinsville, near Athens, last
weekend police said the burglar passed over more expensive products to take 30 saw blades. In other cases, power tools and cash have been stolen.
Marietta police have taken the lead in coordinating an investigation.
The Fastenal store on Kingston Court was hit in early January.
A nearby surveillance camera captured images of a man and car. Police believe they are connected to the rash of crimes.
"This really seems to be almost an epidemic," Marietta Police Officer David Baldwin said. "The methodology for burglarizing each of the businesses has been the
same, so it's leading us to believe it could be the same (thieves) in all these burglaries."
Police are looking to tie burglaries at stores in Marietta, Kennesaw, Newnan, Cumming, Norcross, Lawrenceville, Buford, Gainesville, Tucker, Conyers, Covington, Lithia Springs, Athens and Watkinsville together, along with three stores in the Augusta area.
The total value of the items stolen is believed to be about $17,000.
Detectives said they aren't sure if this is some sort of an inside job or if the man
seen in surveillance video is working alone or with others.
"We really need to locate this suspect and bring an end to his crime spree," Baldwin said.