Gwinnett County

Man steals more than $21,000 in appliances in matter of hours from Gwinnett subdivision, police say

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Police said an inside job at a new Gwinnett County neighborhood helped one man steal 19 ovens in a matter of hours.

Channel 2′s Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Matt Johnson was in Dacula Tuesday, where police said the thief loaded the appliances into a van.

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The suspect, 38-year-old Lester Motes, is accused of smashing windows to get into homes at the newly built Windsor Park Subdivision, then wheeling ovens and refrigerators out of the garage door.

“That’s something that’s always a risk when you have new construction,” Cpl. Juan Madiedo with the Gwinnett County Police said. “He may have had intimate knowledge of the home, layout, how to enter the home undetected.”


Police said Motes caused thousands of dollars in damage by first breaking windows at the 19 homes owned by his now-former employer, American Homes 4 Rent. Investigators believe he brought a cargo van with him on October 21 when he made off with more than $21,000 in appliances. Nearly two months later, police arrested and charged Motes with 19 counts of felony burglary on Dec. 15.

“With the help of flock cameras in the subdivision, we were able to identify the suspect,” Madiedo said. “We’re trying to see where these items are and if there’s any other victims out there.”

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It’s currently unclear what happened to all the ovens and fridges. There’s no evidence Motes was working with anyone else.

Johnson reached out to American Homes 4 Rent for comment but hasn’t heard back about if the stolen appliances have ever been replaced.