Coweta County

Limping burglar sought for rash of store smash and grabs, sheriff’s office says

COWETA COUNTY, Ga. — A serial thief with an unusual gait is wanted for a half dozen burglaries at stores and restaurants in Coweta County and Newnan last week.

“He broke windows to get into them. In one night, he broke into six different businesses. He attempted a seventh,” Coweta County Sheriff’s Sgt. Toby Nix told Channel 2′s Tom Regan.

Surveillance video at the Oriental Marketplace on Highway 34 East in Newnan, shows the burglar smashing the front glass door and crawling into the store.

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He then uses a flashlight to rifle through cash register, and envelopes on a desk.

The thief rushes out the door as the burglary alarm blares, with the cash register drawer in hand.

“He took the tray that was in the cash register, and it just had change in there, about $20 in change. Not worth the effort at all,” store owner Charles Nguyen said.

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The burglar struck at some places as police were investigating his previous break-ins. That happened while he was emptying a cash register at Big Joe’s Bar and Grill just down the road from the Oriental Marketplace.

“He threw an object through the door and broke the glass and crawled in. Got to our cash register and split. The cops were next store when it was actually called in by someone passing by,” restaurant manager Stefanee Stigall told Channel 2 Action News.

The thief was masked and in dark clothing, but sheriff’s investigators are hopeful that his unusual way of walking will blow his cover.

“We’re hoping someone will recognize his distinctive gait and be able to identify him that way. If he can do all that in one night, I don’t know what would stop him from trying it again,” Nix said.

The restaurant manager said beyond stealing the money, the thief also damaged a newly remodeled bar.

“That damage just set us off a little bit. But we were right back open at 11 o’clock for lunch,” Stigall said.

The owner of the Oriental Marketplace, in business for 20 years was annoyed.

“We are out here trying to work hard, to do the right thing, and we got people breaking in for $20,” Nguyen said.

Investigators told Channel 2 Action News that $700-$800 was stolen in the burglary spree. Anyone with information is asked to call the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office or the Newnan Police Department.

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