By Joel Hall
An alleged burglar was reportedly caught in the act by Clayton County police early Wednesday morning, as he allegedly smashed open commercial washers and dryers for change.
Shaun Jackson, 31, of Jonesboro, was arrested shortly after 1 a.m., when police spotted him allegedly attempting to open the depository of one of the coin-operated machines with a hammer. The incident took place at Tara Woods Apartments on 661 Sherwood Drive.
According to a police report, officers were alerted after the apartment complex's manager overheard loud banging in the laundry room and allegedly saw Jackson laying waste to the washers and dryers inside. Police kicked down the door of the laundry room as Jackson was allegedly mangling one of the machines.
When police arrested Jackson, he allegedly told officers, "I'm glad you caught me ... I'm glad you're here and you caught me doing this." In the back of the police car, however, Jackson rethought his original stance, according to the report.
"I did not break in the place, the door was open and I went in," Jackson allegedly told police. "That was [explicative] stupid ... I'm out here banging on a ... washer for a felony ..."
When police arrested Jackson, they observed: Noticeable damage to two washers, four dryers, and the walls next to them; several tools, including a hammer, a chisel, a screwdriver, a pair of pliers, knives and a punch for making circular holes; and a bag containing $23.75 in quarters.
Lt. Rebecca Brown, Clayton County Police Department's public information officer, said Jackson was arrested last year on a minor drug charge. She suggested that Jackson may have upgraded to more serious drugs since then, and said she believes the alleged crime is a cry for help.
"Last year, he had a little marijuana, but that doesn't make you do that," said Brown. "Usually, when you step up to meth or crack, you will do a lot of crazy stuff to get it.
"When he said, 'I'm glad you caught me,' ... generally, people on drugs, that's what they'll say," she said. "If they are in jail, then they can't get to the drugs."
Brown said Jackson is being held in the Clayton County Jail on charges of commercial burglary, second-degree criminal damage, and possession of tools during the commission of a crime.