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Lithonia police chief is crime victim

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Photo by Hugh Osteen

By Elaine Rackley

erackley@henryherald.com

An Atlanta man is in jail, after he was arrested for allegedly breaking into the Henry County home of the police chief of the City of Lithonia.

Henry County Police arrested Derrek Lorenza McCree for allegedly breaking into the home of Lithonia Police Chief Kennis Harrell. The alleged burglary on May 16, according to police, resulted in the theft of Chief Harrell's badge and gun, among other items.

McCree, 21, appeared in Henry County Magistrate Court Monday to face a charge of burglary. Judge Robert Godwin set his bond at $25,000.

Henry County deputies arrested McCree while he was confined in the Fulton County Jail. "I am just glad to hear that he was arrested," said Harrell, on Monday. "I hope that we can recover some of the items, especially the firearms, so that we can get those off of the street. That is my main concern, to make sure they are out of the hands of the bad guys."

Harrell said he retired from the DeKalb County Police Department on May 31, 2010. He has been the police chief in Lithonia since November.

"McCree was identified [by] a fresh thumbprint located behind an entertainment center down in the basement of the resident," according to the police warrant that resulted in McCree's arrest.

"Derrek McCree did ... with intent to commit a theft therein, enter the dwelling house ... by kicking in the back door to the residence and removing a Glock 9mm handgun, a City of Lithonia chief's badge, a spare house key, multiple jewelry, and electronics valued over $10,000," according to the arrest warrant.

McCree remained in the Henry County Jail at press time Monday.