Four arrests made in car break-ins

Published 4:48 pm Friday, June 12, 2009

Four arrests, including two juveniles, have been made in connection with a series of car burglaries that occurred between Friday, June 5, and Wednesday, June10,—with many stolen items being recovered by police.

On Tuesday night, a number of vehicles were broken into on Barber Road, River Oaks Drive, River Oaks Road, Lake Douglas Road, Douglas Hills Subdivision and Aryola Road Subdivision.

Sheriff Wiley Griffin became one of the victims of the car burglaries when his service firearm and badge wallet were stolen.

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The Decatur County Sheriff’s Office had already been conducting an investigation into car burglaries that have been recently occurring, said Capt. Chip Nix.

Following the rash of burglaries, Nix said he went to interview a group of juveniles he believed may have been involved—including 15-year-old Andrew Wes Diego of 168 Jean Drive in Bainbridge, who was arrested on June 3 on charges related to the theft of a firearm from a vehicle on Crawford Road.

Nix said he went to the young man at 112 Aaron Road in Bainbridge, the home of 17-year-old Joshua Wade Jackson. When he arrived Wade, Diego, 23-year-old Michael Cox of 1011 E. Broughton St. and Diego’s brother—16-year-old Justin Vinceio Diego—were leaving the home in a vehicle. Inside the car, Nix said he located a number of items reported stolen from vehicles the night before, including cell phones, a global positioning system (GPS) unit, an iPod and doctor’s equipment.

The young men were subsequently arrested and all gave confessions, according to Nix.

Investigators received information as to the location of stolen items that the young men had discarded. They were led to storm drain locations at the intersections of Douglas Drive and Tallahassee Highway, and Custer and Japonica streets. Inside the sewer lines, police recovered several wallets, a handgun and various other stolen items.

Griffin’s firearm and badge wallet were among the items recovered, according to Major Wendell Cofer.

Jackson was arrested and charged with three counts of entering an auto with intent of felony.

Both Andrew Diego and Justin Diego were arrested and charged with seven counts of entering an auto with intent of felony and theft by receiving stolen property and will be prosecuted in juvenile court.

Cox was arrested and charged with 11 counts of entering an auto with intent of felony.