ATLANTA - A man with a long criminal record is free again despite having repeatedly violated his parole.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Richard Belcher found he's a regular on the streets of southwest Atlanta.
And the family he burglarized a year ago is upset about that. Carla Oglesby showed Channel 2 Action News how a burglar broke into the backyard storage shed at her home in southwest Atlanta.
Her son saw the man walking away with a
Shop-Vac and ladder piled on top of the family's lawn mower.
"He cut through that driveway right there, and then went up toward the street," said Jacob Oglesby.
Carla Oglesby added that the thief acted very cool as he took off with their things.
"Walking, pushing the lawn mower like it was his," Carla Oglesby said. "I'm telling you, like he left Walmart. I'm telling you he had it stacked up like he'd just hit the sale."
Atlanta police arrested 42-year-old Aubrey Bettis for the burglary. Records show he was released from jail just a week before he broke into the
Oglesby storage shed.
Oglesby said she told the district attorney she wanted Bettis to stay in jail after the burglary. Court records show he had been arrested 49 times before he committed this crime. But Belcher's review of Bettis' prison stays show they are like a revolving
- 2004 – Sentenced to 10 years for robbery.
- 2009 – Paroled.
- 2010 -- Parole revoked. Bettis was sent back to prison.
- 2011 -- Paroled again.
- 2012 -- Arrested again.
- Also 2012 -- He was charged with burglarizing the Oglesby shed and sent back to prison.
- 2013 -- Paroled again.
Jacob Oglesby said enough is enough.
"After, like, 10 or more times, he just needs to be sent to like a federal prison or state prison for a long time now," Jacob Oglesby said.
Today, Bettis lives just six blocks from the home of Carla Oglesby, which she finds especially infuriating.
"He's out now. We see him walking up and down the street
now," said Oglesby.
"You do now?" asked Belcher.
"Yes. He'll give us a little nod and keep walking," she said.
The State Board of Pardons and Paroles oversees state parolees. And Scott Maurer, the director of operation support, said there's no simple answer to parolees who re-commit crimes.
"Those offenders are all going to get out of prison. Unless you address what the underlying root cause of the criminal behavior is, it's going to continue," Mauer said.
Aubrey Bettis told Belcher his crimes were caused by substance abuse, but he
said, "I'm clean now."
Carla Oglesby is unimpressed.
"The system does not work. It's ineffective when someone who has been paroled, given a chance to do the right
thing, continues to do the wrong thing and they're still not taken back into state custody."
Mauer said it's more complicated than that.
"To the general public, it might not always seem like it is, because the person is not going back to prison, but those violations are absolutely being addressed."