Authorities break up major burglary ring

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Local authorities have busted a major burglary ring and turned up thousands of dollars worth of stolen property in their investigation.

It's a case that spans Harris County, Columbus and parts of East Alabama.

It all started with string of burglaries at several homes on the northeast end of Columbus.

"They would go to home and knock on the door. If no one answered, they'd burglarize the house. If someone was home, they'd make up an excuse of they were looking for something they bought on eBay," said Lieutenant Gil Slouchick with the Columbus Police Department.

Police managed to get a description of the suspects and their stolen car. A patrol officer spotted it outside the Super 8 on Warm Springs Road and officers took down 29-year-old William Hendry.

"There were articles in this individuals hotel room that were taken in burglaries in Columbus, Harris County and the Phenix City area," Lieutenant Slouchick said.

The evidence also led to them to arrest 29-year-old Thomas Price, who police say was Hendry's accomplice in some of the burglaries.

From there, the case exploded. Police say Hendry started talking about the crimes.

"He began to lead us to several people that were fencing stolen property- some in Columbus and one in Harris County," said Glenn Presley, an investigator for the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

So far, police have tied Hendry and Price to 10 burglaries in Columbus and others in Harris County, Phenix City, Russell County and Opelika.

"We have returned close to $25,000 worth of stolen property to the owners. We still have over $30,000 worth of property we believe to be stolen at this time. We're trying to find out where it came from. Anytime we can get that amount of stolen property back and return it to the owners- to me, that's significant and get these individuals off the street," Slouchick said.

"There's no telling how many more burglaries they would have committed but this is absolutely a good bust," Presley added.

The investigation continues- police say more arrests and charges are pending.

They also say they expect to recover more stolen property.

William Hendry and Thomas Price are being held in the Muscogee County Jail.

Police really urging folks to record serial numbers on their electronics to help detectives track them should they ever be the victim of a crime.

Columbus authorities say they've link William Hendry to the burglary of both the Columbus and Opelika National Guard Armory.

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