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Suspect jailed in Henry burglary case
Second suspect sought

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

Police in McDonough said a tip from a confidential informant helped authorities apprehend a teenager allegedly involved in a break-in earlier this year.

Raymond James Whatley, Jr., 17, of Stockbridge, is charged with burglary.

The incident took place June 18, at a home on Tussahaw Crossing in the City Square subdivision, according to McDonough Police Maj. Kyle Helgerson. Helgerson said police believe Whatley took approximately $500 worth of items from the residence, which have yet to be recovered by authorities.

Helgerson did not release additional details about the items.

He said the case was "stagnant" for four months, until authorities were contacted Oct. 6 by a man who is acquainted with Whatley, and claimed to know about the burglary.

"The informant ... gave us some intimate details about the burglary that he apparently witnessed firsthand," said Helgerson.

He said the unnamed informant told police about items he allegedly saw Whatley carrying from the residence.

"[The informant] gave us information on another witness who corroborated his statement," said Helgerson. "I produced a photo lineup, and both the informant and the witness picked out Whatley."

Helgerson said although detectives have not used the services of the informant in the past, police have no reason to doubt the individual's credibility regarding the burglary.

"He's being deemed as reliable based on the knowledge he has of the incident and the pertinent details he's provided, that no one knew about unless they witnessed what he saw," said Helgerson.

Whatley was apprehended Oct. 8, and interviewed by police. Helgerson said Whatley "made no admissions" concerning the burglary, and was "very uncooperative" with police.

The major described the investigation as "ongoing."

"We are still looking for an additional suspect who was potentially involved in the burglary," said Helgerson. "We're getting conflicting stories on who it may be, but we know we're looking for a light-skinned black male that's young. It looks like he's going to be anywhere from the ages of 15 to 20 years old. He may be a ... resident of City Square subdivision."

Helgerson added that the burglary case represents the latest in a series of "positive results," regarding the fight against crime in the City Square subdivision in recent months. According to Helgerson, police have taken "an aggressive stance" against crime in that area.

"We've identified a lot of key players in criminal activity [there]," said Helgerson. "If we haven't succeeded as far as putting a charge on them for what we suspect them [of] doing, they're actually leaving the community because we are putting so much heat on them."

Whatley appeared Oct. 9 in Magistrate Court, and the charge against him was bound over to Superior Court. His bond was set at $30,000, and he remained in the Henry County Jail Friday afternoon.

Anyone with information regarding the identity of the second suspect in the burglary is asked to call the McDonough Police Department at (770) 957-1218.