WARNER ROBINS -- Three burglary suspects are in custody after one was caught near the scene of a break-in, and the others were captured after an early morning manhunt Friday in Houston County, authorities say.
Dion Kevin Murray, 25, Marcell Harris, 27, and Cornelius Redding, 24, all of Macon, are being held on one count of burglary each, said Perry police Capt. Heath Dykes.
Harris and Redding, who are at the Houston County jail, were also charged with obstruction for fleeing from authorities, Dykes said. Murray is at the Peach County jail.
Houston County sheriffs Capt. Jon Holland said the men are suspected of burglarizing a Perry convenience story early Friday at Ga. 127 and Houston Lake Road and then a convenience store at Ga. 96 and U.S. 41.
Murray, Harris and Redding are accused of breaking into the Speedy convenience store at 1542 Houston Lake Road at 4 a.m. by busting the front glass doors and then stealing cigarette cartons, cigar items and miscellaneous store merchandise, Dykes said.
While Perry police were at the crime scene, a Peach County sheriffs deputy came upon Murray stuck in a ditch after wrecking near the Highway Haven at Ga. 96 and U.S. 41, Dykes said. The deputy saw merchandise in the truck that police say had been stolen from both the Speedy and Highway Haven.
A manhunt for the remaining two suspects ensued with the use of a Georgia State Patrol helicopter, Holland said. A perimeter was established by law enforcement officers from Perry and Warner Robins police and deputies from Houston and Peach counties, Dykes said.
A woman in the Erin Glenn subdivision off U.S. 41 called 911 after seeing two men running through the backyard, Dykes said. The men ran down a ditch and into nearby woods, he said.
The men later emerged from the woods on Erin Way.
Harris and Redding were taken into custody on Erin Way by police officers and sheriffs deputies at 6:30 a.m. Residents in the area reported seeing the helicopter circling overhead and two to three dozen law enforcement vehicles in the area.
Authorities have been on heightened alert after a rash of commercial burglaries in south Houston County, Perry and Peach County, Holland said.
Murray, Harris and Redding are expected to face additional burglary charges as well as charges in connection with auto thefts and auto break-ins reported in the Perry area since late May, Dykes said. Houston and Peach authorities are also looking for connections between the men and burglaries in those jurisdictions.
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.