Cobb County

Former officer held up hotel guests at gunpoint while in uniform, police say

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A former Atlanta police officer is in jail, accused of wearing his uniform while he committed crimes.

Surveillance video shows Justin Thorne inside a Cobb County hotel, where police said he robbed two guests at gunpoint.

Channel 2's Michael Seiden said several of his sources within the Atlanta Police Department tipped him off to the story, calling Thorne an embarrassment to the entire police force.

The robbery happened Oct. 17 inside the Comfort Inn and Suites off Windy Hill Road in Cobb County during the late morning hours.

Surveillance video shows Thorne dressed in his police gear that included a bulletproof vest, hat, full uniform, a gun and even a police badge.


But what the hotel staff didn’t know at the time was that this 22-year-old, who is now under arrest and charged with multiple felonies, wasn’t there to conduct an investigation.

Instead, Cobb County police say, he was there to commit an armed robbery.

The holdup happened inside a hotel room where two guests were forced to hand over $800 in cash and an iPhone valued at $700.

Cobb police worked the case for days and through the help of APD, they identified Thorne as their suspect.

Cobb police will only say this is an ongoing investigation

Seiden looked into Thorne’s record and learned he joined APD in 2017, working as a patrol officer on the city's southeast side until earlier this year.

In a statement, an APD spokesman said:

"APD’s Office of Professional Standards was investigating then-Officer Justin Thorne after receiving an allegation in late September that Thorne had offered to take payment from a suspect with an outstanding warrant in exchange for making the warrant go away. When Thorne was asked by OPS to make a statement about the allegation, he chose to abruptly resign on October 1."

Seiden contacted Cobb County police in an attempt to learn more about the circumstances surrounding this armed robbery. He also wanted to know if there are additional victims or suspects.

Cobb police declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

Seiden did confirm the two victims are from Arkansas and were not seriously injured during the incident.

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