A 20 year old Smithville man has been arrested on multiple counts of burglary and vandalism as the result of an investigation by the Smithville Police and DeKalb County Sheriff's Departments.
In a prepared news release, Thomas J. Stufano, Executive Officer of the Smithville Police Department, says Brian Dewayne Thomason of 439 Morgan Drive is charged with one count of aggravated burglary of a dwelling, two counts of vandalism to a structure and five counts of burglary of vehicles occurring on West Spring Street, Fisher Avenue, Short Mountain Street, Anthony Avenue, Kendra Drive, and Meadowbrook Drive. Additional charges could be filed pending a further investigation.
Thomason was booked into the DeKalb County Jail with bail set at $32,000.
According to the news release, \"On Wednesday, September 27th at approximately 11:20 p.m. police officers and sheriff's deputies working a Burglary Task Force in the 300 block of West Bryant Street were able to positively identify and arrest a suspect who had eluded authorities for almost three weeks.\" The suspect, Thomason, is accused of breaking into seven residences and automobiles.
\"Based on leads, reports and witness statements over the last three weeks concerning the escalating rise in burglaries in the area, officers canvassed the neighborhoods speaking to residents and tracking prospective movements of the suspect. With the cooperation of good neighbors and concerned citizens coupled with fast police response times and effective report writing, Task Force Officers working the cases were able to easily identify the suspect.\"
\"Smithville Police Sergeant Steve Deffendoll, Officer Bill Elliott, Officer Lelani Defore, and DeKalb County Sheriff's Detective Chris Russell were able to closely align and track the suspect's movements over the past three weeks that plagued these quiet residential areas.\"
\"Incidental to the arrest, Mr. Thomason voluntarily cooperated with the investigation identifying additional areas he had either broken into or attempted to break into but had been stopped by vigilant neighbors who called the police. During his interview, Thomason stated that he was able to keep track of police response times in order to time his get away by using a portable handheld police scanner.\"
Stufano's news release states that \" In speaking to the victims and neighbors, all were highly in favor of the city's new Crime Watch Program due to roll out shortly. This nationally recognized crime prevention program trains citizens on how and what to look for when reporting incidents. Additionally, home and business inspections are performed to help provide a safer living or working environment. Simple methods such as replacing outside light bulbs that have burned out or trimming hedges that block windows, and making sure your car doors and windows are locked are things citizens can do to deter crime in their area.\"