COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Columbus police say the burglars did the same thing every time. They looked for houses with a car in the driveway and knocked to see if anyone was home. With no answer, they forced their way inside and looked for car keys. Then they'd use the victim's own car to haul away everything inside their house. It was happening again and again, and always as the day was beginning.
"They were doing it early in the morning. That's kind of bold because that's usually when people are home. Usually 6:30, 7:30 a.m., families are home at that time in the morning," said neighbor, John Holloway.
Things started to unravel when a car stolen from Royal Street was spotted leaving the scene of a burglary in Phenix City. Officers began to chase the car and as it crossed into Columbus, two men jumped from the vehicle and escaped near Torch Hill Road. A third person, Altaveious Carr, 17, was caught when he tried to bail out on First Avenue. He is charged as an adult for his role in the crime spree.
Later that same morning, a woman on Valencia Drive called police to say her front door was busted down and over four thousand dollars worth of televisions and electronics were taken, including an iPad. With the help of a tracking app, she was able to tell police her iPad was in a room at the Best Western motel on Macon road where the suspects were staying.
Police arrived immediately afterward to arrest at least two more people. Officers found most of the stolen items inside both the hotel room and the stolen car pursued from Phenix City.
Burglary victims like Karisha Lamb are happy that police have caught some of the people responsible and she's hoping to get her stuff back soon. By Friday, she was having her door replaced and her alarm upgraded. She has a message for any thieves who might want to try this again.
"I've got video cameras, live with an app. Come back and somebody's going down!"
So far, thousands of dollars worth of electronics have been recovered. Lamb said she knows at least one of her televisions was destroyed during the theft because a piece of it is still plugged into her wall.
Police are still investigating and are trying to make sure they have found everyone involved.