By Kathy Jefcoats
JONESBORO — Clayton County police made three arrests in two separate incidents on the first day of a special operation designed to keep shoppers and residents safe during the holiday season.
Office John Schneller said police arrested Austin Owens, 18, of Atlanta, and Heather Clark, 35, of Ellenwood, for allegedly robbing an elderly man at the Ellenwood Walmart Monday.
Schneller said officers responded to Walmart about 5:10 p.m. in reference to the robbery. Armed with information from witnesses, police tracked the suspect vehicle to a nearby Waffle House, he said. The alleged victim was able to identify both suspects as the ones who stole $80 from his pocket, said Schneller.
Later that same night, police responded to a burglary alarm at Southside Discount Mall on Tara Boulevard. About 9:37 p.m., police were able to locate and arrest one juvenile, who admitted to the burglary, said Schneller. Clayton County police canvassed the area and said they were able to recover numerous items of electronics that were stolen in the burglary.
“The investigation is continuing into any other possible suspects,” he said.
Clayton County police initiated Operation Safe Holiday throughout the county’s unincorporated areas Monday. Several officers from patrol, SMASH and community affairs will show an increase in all police sectors throughout the county, said Schneller.
“We will heighten law enforcement efforts concerning thefts, burglaries and other criminal activity to enforce and deter crime,” he said. “Targeted areas will have directed patrols, traffic enforcement and other crime deterrent activities within the various areas around Clayton County.”
Chief Greg Porter reminded everyone to be alert and observant during this Christmas season to avoid becoming a victim of a crime.