SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — Police have solved a string of violent home invasions targeting celebrities across metro Atlanta.
Four suspected gang members are now in custody in connection to at least 15 home invasions over the past year.
One of those celebrities was Marlo Hampton of the “Real Housewives of Atlanta”, who told Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne that she watched on her security system as armed, masked men kicked her door down making a loud boom.
The attempted burglary happened July 1 at her Sandy Springs home.
“When I heard the boom, when I heard my nephew scream -- and I knew that scream was a scream of fear -- my heart dropped,” Hampton said.
[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]
Police have now told her that her case is tied to other incidents.
Hampton said she went to a panic room and called 911. The suspects who kicked her door in fled possibly because she yelled.
Sandy Springs police were there quickly and she thanks God they were.
“I just thank God and we’re covered in the blood of Jesus and I’m here to share this story with you. But my main concern is, I want all the ladies … I want everyone to be aware if you are posting, if you do have luxury items, be careful,” Hampton said.
- ‘I went full mama bear:’ Woman describes how she rescued child after wild police chase in Ga. city
- Parents say proposed new Cobb elementary school logo resembles Nazi symbol
- Man dead after bizarre reports of kidnapping at Fayetteville home
Sandy Springs police said officers took down four alleged members of the gang Sunday morning as they attempted a home invasion at a townhouse occupied by the mother of one of the children of famous rapper Future.
A deep investigation into the gang’s past led Sandy Springs investigators to stake out her home knowing she might be a target.
“We got lucky and we got it right. And as we targeted them, they came on scene. Both a foot chase and a vehicle chase ensued and we were able to take four people into custody,” said Sgt. Matt McGinnis with the Sandy Springs Police Department.
McGinnis said the four men arrested are charged so far with crimes relating to what happened Sunday, but the gang, which includes other members, is suspected in 15 home invasions or burglaries in Sandy Springs alone and others elsewhere in metro Atlanta.
“The investigation’s been ongoing for at least a year now,” McGinnis said.
McGinnis said the investigation started with a home invasion on Oct. 1 along Northside Drive for which seven suspects were arrested.
Investigators told Winne that the gang mostly targets the homes of high-profile entertainment, sports or social media figures with targets including players from the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United and a leading lacrosse player.
“We expect it to get bigger,” McGinnis said.
He said detectives believe the ring may have burglarized the rapper Gunna’s house in DeKalb County.
The sergeant says in a home invasion on Parkside Place a July 4, a resident was shot and seriously wounded.
“He survived and is expected to make a full recovery,” McGinnis said.
[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]
Hours before Winne’s interview, McGinnis said Kenzel Walker, a member of another gang that had been working with the gang masterminding the home invasions and burglaries, was arrested for an Albany murder and charges pertaining to a Sandy Springs home invasion and gang leadership.
McGinnis said Sandy Springs police are asking the public’s help finding Jeremy Caldwell., AKA J-Roc, an alleged ringleader wanted for 33 charges, some of them involving Sandy Springs home invasions.
“He’s got a red falcon on the side of his right eye,” McGinnis said.
“If anyone knows where Caldwell is what do you want them to do?” Winne asked McGinnis.
“They need to contact 911 immediately. He is considered armed and dangerous,” McGinnis said.
Crime Stoppers Atlanta is offering a reward of up to $12,000 for a tip leading to the whereabouts of Caldwell.
If you know where he is, McGinnis suggests you call 911 then call Crime Stoppers.
McGinnis said the four arrested Sunday, one of whom is in a hospital after bailing out of a fleeing car, are charged in connection with the Sunday case but under investigation for others, along with other suspects.
IN OTHER NEWS:
©2022 Cox Media Group