Two charged with August business burglaries

Published 4:03 pm Monday, September 17, 2012

Bainbridge Public Safety has formally charged two men with a recent string of commerical burglaries.

21-year-old Lorenzo Snell of 830-B Broughton St., Bainbridge, has been in custody at the Decatur County Jail since Aug. 17 after BPS arrested him on unrelated charges of possession of firearm by a convicted felon and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Snell was formally charged Monday with five counts of burglary and one criminal attempt of burglary.

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This past Thursday, a second suspect, 21-year-old Calvin Lucious Taylor of the 1000 block of Broughton Street, Bainbridge, was arrested by BPS and charged with five counts of burglary and one criminal attempt of burglary.

BPS investigators believe Snell and Taylor were involved in eight break-ins; six of them happened in the early morning hours of Aug. 7, while two more happened the night of Aug. 13.

According to BPS, five counts of burglary stem from break-ins at the following businesses: American Pie, Parker Paints, Dina’s Hair Salon, All About Nails and the Country Store on Dothan Road. The criminal attempt at burglary stems from an attempted break-in at the Money Tree store located next to American Pie in the Winn-Dixie shopping center.

Snell and Taylor aren’t being charged with burglaries at two businesses — American Lube Fast and Fastenal—and one residence, because no property was taken.

BPS investigators said it’s been a while since they had looked into so many burglaries occurring within a short time period. Deputy BPS Director Frank Green credited investigators’ persistence in linking the crimes.

“[Chief Investigator] Major Robert Humphrey and his investigators had a lot of evidence to sort through all at once after the initial burglaries,” Green said. “They beat the streets and were able to identify two suspects. I would credit the investigators’ ‘good old-fashioned police work’ in solving these cases.”

On August 8, Snell wound up at the emergency room at Memorial Hospital after he reported being the victim of an accidental shooting, in which his hand was injured, according to BPS’ Major Humphrey. Snell’s description of the gun—which was never recovered—was very similar to that of a handgun taken from Parker Paints, Humphrey said.

Snell was arrested at his residence on Friday, August 17, after BPS took out a warrant for Snell’s arrest on the charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Officers also found a small amount of marijuana on his person during the arrest.

“The accidental shooting set off some red flags for us,” Deputy Public Safety Director Frank Green said. “We started identifying who [Snell] associated with and following up on leads.”

At the time of his arrest, Snell was already a suspect in the burglaries because officers had found items taken from Dina’s Hair Salon at 120 S. Scott Street in a dirt alleyway off Cheever Street, next to Snell’s residence. The discarded/dropped items included a pair of reading glasses and a window air conditioning unit.

On the day after the first six burglaries happened, several of the items taken from Dina’s Hair Salon — including two pairs of hair clippers, a leaf blower, curling irons and flat irons — were found inside a duffel bag dumped behind a residence on the 1000 block of Broughton Street, just three doors down from a residence Taylor was staying at, according to Humphrey.

The duffel bag also contained a black work glove that matched a glove that BPS Officer Jason Barlow found outside American Pie Pizza on the night it was burglarized.

Investigators also found an attachment for the leafblower stolen from Dina’s Hair Salon, as well as a stereo from the salon, when they searched two other residences Taylor had stayed at.

The Aug. 13 burglaries at Fastenal, 430 E. Calhoun St., and The Country Store, at 1105 Dothan Road, occurred within a few minutes of each other, with both businesses’ alarms going off at approximately 11:45 p.m. Two men were seen in surveillance videos taken at both businesses.

According to Deputy Director Green, BPS officers stopped Snell in a car with its headlights off at around 5 a.m. on the morning of the August 6 burglaries.

By the time of the Aug. 13 burglaries, Snell was already a suspect, so officers were on the lookout for him and spotted he and Taylor riding around in the area shortly after those two break-ins, Humphrey said.

“[Taylor] had originally called us, supposedly offering tips about who was responsible for the burglaries and where some of the stolen items could be found,” Humphrey said. “However, we became suspicious because he knew too many details about the break-ins that had not been made public.”