Man, two juveniles arrested for burglary of three businesses

Published 4:24 pm Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Thursday, May 24, at approximately 3:27 a.m. Bainbridge Public Safety officers responded to Dollar Tree and Grady Vapors located in Bainbridge Town Center in reference to possible burglaries.

A man was cleaning the parking area in the center and noticed that the glass doors to both businesses had been broken and called 911, although there were no alarms sounding.  Officers arrived on scene and cleared possible suspects. 

The owner of Grady Vapors arrived at the store and was asked about what items may have been taken.  The owner stated that a loaded Glock 9mm handgun was missing from under the cash register as well as approximately $70 in cash and change and a Bluetooth tower speaker. The owner also noticed a variety of vapor wraps were scattered about the floor of the business.   

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Investigator Davina Thomas was called to the scene.  Officers entered the Dollar Tree and noticed candy scattered on the floor and a busted window in the manager’s office. Upon closer inspection, officers found the brick used to break the window. Officers began a search of the shopping center area, hoping to find clues; that is when they noticed fresh footprints in the dirt near the Flint Media radio tower.  The footprints continued away from the tower in the direction of East Water Street.  A surveillance video was acquired from the radio tower, where it clearly showed two males walking away from the shopping center in the direction of East Water Street. 

Officers moved their efforts to the 1500 block of Water Street where they made contact with several individuals.  One of the individuals they made contact with was an unnamed juvenile. They searched the suspect’s residence and uncovered several items that were reported stolen from both businesses, as well as the missing Glock 9mm handgun.  A second juvenile subject was interviewed and confessed to being part of the burglaries. 

During the investigation, officers connected the Dollar Tree and Grady Vapors burglaries to a similar incident, which occurred earlier in the night at the Quick Buy store on Whigham Dairy Road.  Both subjects admitted to burglarizing the Quick Buy store before heading to tohe shopping center.  They also identified a third subject, Ladarius Cortez Jones as being part of all three burglaries. 

Officers proceeded to Jones’ residence, where they found the suspect. They witnessed Jones slide an object under the cushion on the couch next to the door, when he ushered them inside. Investigators performed a search of the residence and located a handgun under the couch cushion, as well as the Bluetooth tower speaker which matched the description of the one missing from Grady Vapors.  The two juveniles, aged 16, and Jones, 22, were placed under arrest and transported to the Decatur County Jail. 

The juveniles were charged with two counts of Burglary. Jones was charged with two counts of burglary, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.