Baldwin County and five other counties in the midstate recently have been hit with a combined 22 burglaries since July, believed to be carried out by the same suspects, said Capt. Brad King, chief of detectives for the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office.
Of those burglaries, four have taken place in Baldwin County between July 23 and Monday, King said. Another two have taken place within Milledgeville city limits.
Based on video surveillance at multiple convenience stores, either two or three suspects, wearing masks and gloves, have used a sledgehammer to break the front glass of the stores. Within one minute, the suspects fill trash cans with cigarettes and lottery tickets. King estimated that $40,000 to $50,000 worth of merchandise has been stolen from Baldwin County stores.
Of the four incidents that have taken place outside Milledgeville city limits, three of them have taken place at about 4 a.m., and a fourth happened at about 5:45 a.m.
The sheriff’s office recovered a sledgehammer with a bright yellow handle believed to have been used in some of the incidents, but the suspects have apparently been using another to commit subsequent burglaries, King said. The suspects seem to have been deterred from convenience stores that have bars on the doors.
The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office also is taking steps to have patrols check on convenience stores during the early morning hours in response to the incidents, he said.
Similar burglaries have taken place recently in Peach, Bibb, Houston, Wilkinson and Twiggs counties. Local law enforcement officials met Monday to review their evidence.
The Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Office has a warrant for one of the suspects, King said, but the suspect’s name was not made available.