• 'One man crime wave' banned from DeKalb County


    DEKALB COUNTY, Ga - A man has been banned from DeKalb County because of crimes he’s connected to.

    Channel 2’s Ryan Young has learned that when DeKalb County police removed Charles Butts from the community crime dropped more than 50 percent near Moreland Avenue.

    “When you come in, you got thievery in the area, people come in, cut your fences, stealing your tires, stealing your batteries, stealing your trucks, stealing your trailers. They’ll steal a whole trailer (and) take it to a recycling plant and sell it for scrap,” business owner Wayne Smith said.

    Smith and business owners in the DeKalb County business district of Conley are relieved that Butts is gone.

    “When the sun went down, he went into his real criminal mastermind part where he started breaking into businesses stealing anything that wasn’t tied down. In fact, some stuff that was tied down, he still stole it,” police Capt. A.T. Mears said.

    “We’ve been working on this guy, Charles Butts, for months and it seems like every time he was incarcerated, theft would go down…he get’s back on the street, theft (would) go right back up,” Smith said.

    On most days you could find Butts at multiple intersections along Moreland Avenue, begging.

    “His daytime job, basically, he’d stand out here in the intersection. He would hold a sign saying, ‘Help me God bless,’” Mears said.

    But police and business owners said Butts ran a criminal enterprise that would steal anything and pimp prostitutes at night.

    “He is a one man crime wave,” Mears said.

    Business owners banned together with DeKalb police and DeKalb County prosecutors and gave Butts the choice of a year in prison or a ban from DeKalb County.

    Butts took a one way bus ticket to Tennessee.

    “This is great actually. We didn’t solve one victim’s crime; we solved a community’s problem,” Mears said.

    If Butts shows up again, he can be arrested immediately.

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