Jonesboro police Chief Franklin Allen said the teenager busted out the glass in these French doors to get inside the house. Once inside, he donned a pair of socks to avoid leaving prints, said Allen.
A suspended Clayton County alternative school student was arrested Tuesday morning for what police said was his third burglary in a month after they allegedly caught him in the act of stealing seven firearms from a Jonesboro home.
Jonesboro police Chief Franklin Allen said the 16-year-old, who can’t be identified because of his status as a juvenile, has been charged with burglary. Allen said the boy’s mother told police he had been suspended from school, but no details were released.
“It is our understanding that this is his third burglary arrest in a month,” said Allen. “He is already on probation for one of those burglaries. We understand that the second was dismissed for lack of evidence.”
Allen said the boy is uncooperative.
“Oh, no, he is not cooperating with us,” said Allen. “He’s hardcore already, telling us we didn’t have anything on him. Well, he wore improvised gloves to not leave fingerprints. Once he got inside the house, he put on a pair of socks belonging to the homeowner. But we have an eyewitness.”
Jonesboro police responded within two minutes to a 911 call from a neighbor, he said. The officer saw a subject flee from the house, hop a fence to a field.
“The officer began a pursuit but then saw the seven firearms leaning up against a shed and terminated the pursuit in favor of keeping the firearms safe,” said Allen. “He was able to keep an eye on the subject while other officers arrived.”
Allen said the subject ran onto the campus of Lee Street Elementary and was trying to hide under a modular classroom when he was taken into custody. No students were ever in danger.
“The school grounds were involved only to the extent of him trying to hide,” he said. “He was unarmed and there was no threat to students.”
Police don’t think the teen had any accomplices. Allen said there is no indication the crime is gang-related. However, Allen said the crime raises some important questions.
“We’re very proud of the fact we were able to apprehend him,” he said. “But at the same time, we’re extremely concerned because there are certain questions we’d like to get answers to, like where were the guns going? What were they to be used for? Who else would have gotten these guns?”
Allen said there is also the concern the guns could have been used to commit other crimes.
“This could have led to a serious situation, with guns being on the street,” he said.
Police believe the teen broke the glass on the left side of French doors leading into the home to get inside. Once inside, he found the guns and brought them outside.
“We have no reason to believe he specifically targeted this house,” said Allen. “We theorize he randomly selected the house, which just happened to have a few guns inside. We suspect he intended to gather up valuables, drop them over the fence along the woodline and return for them later and hopefully get away with it. Fortunately, we were able to stop him.”