Surveillance video helps capture man who broke into 8 businesses, police say

Surveillance video helps capture man police say broke into 8 businesses

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. — Police said they have caught a man responsible for at least eight break-ins at restaurants and shops in Newton County.

Channel 2's Christian Jennings was in Covington, where a Hardees on Highway 278 was the latest target.

Police said Christopher Lee broke the drive-thru window with a hammer and stole the cash register.

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Surviellance video shows the moments a masked Lee shattered the drive-thru window before reaching inside the store and taking the money.

Police said Lee broke into numerous businesses in the past few weeks before he was arrested Thursday night.

Police said Lee's crime spree started June 23 and didn't end until July 8 at the Hardees.


The businesses Lee targeted included Applebees and a Dollar General, most of which were on the same stretch of road.

Jennings talked to Capt. Ken Malcom, with the Covington Police Department, about how they were able to tie the crimes together.

"Well, immediately, we realized we had a serial burglar," Malcom said. "It was very important to us to stop this."

Police said they got a break in the case when they found video from a business close to the Hardees. Malcom said it shows Lee shortly before the break-in. It was the first time they were able to see their suspect without a mask.

When they got the video from the break-in Thursday night, they recognized Lee immediately from the night before. Malcom said Lee used a pink child's bicycle to ride around and commit his crimes.

"A very alert rookie patrol officer (saw) an individual that matched the discription we had of our suspect," Malcom said. "As the officer got out, he noticed a discarded bicycle in a wooded area, and (the man) attempted to hide the bicycle."
Jay Salim, an employee at one of the businesses, said he was relieved to hear the burglar wouldn't strike again.

"We were expecting him to get caught in a couple weeks' time, the detectives told us, but yeah, that's good news for us," Salim said. "That's really good to hear that."