As officers rushed to burglary call in a Montgomery neighborhood off of Atlanta Highway, one of the officers diverted when a silver Dodge Charger caught his eye.
MPD had been on the lookout for a car matching the description in connection with a string of home break-ins. The description was provided to officers by residents and it led to the takedown of a 17-year-old suspect officials say has been very busy burglarizing homes.
Officers were responding to a residential alarm in the Arrowhead neighborhood around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday when they spotted the car.
"We had been on the lookout for a vehicle because the neighborhood associations are very active and they've been communicating with us and communicating with each other and because of that, we had developed a suspicious vehicle," said Montgomery Public Safety Director Christopher Murphy. "One of the units that was responding saw this vehicle, turned around on it, made a traffic stop and ended up getting a 17-year-old kid with a weapon and with merchandise in the car and now we've tied him to other burglaries."
The burglaries happened in late June and early July on Prince George Drive, Whitehall Street, Hillman Street and Cross Creek Drive. The suspect, who is not being named due to his age, was charged with one count of second degree burglary, three counts of third degree burglary, one count of second degree theft of property, and minor in possession of a firearm.
"You hate crime to happen ever but as far as criminal justice goes, that's what we want to happen- an active citizen involvement and good alert officers who are doing their job," Director Murphy added.
The teen's arrest was welcome news to area residents.
"It makes me happy and I'm sure my neighbors and a lot of other neighbors are proud. We've had a lot of break-ins in the Dalraida area, we've had one recently right across the street from me. It makes everybody here feel safer," said Cliff Tatum, a Dalraida resident. "You're working hard to pay your bills and provide for your family and when you come home and find a break in and see the people have taken things that you worked so hard to get, it tears at your insides. It's a painful thing knowing that your privacy has been invaded."
In Montgomery County's most recent grand jury proceedings, 44% of the indictments were for property crimes, including home burglaries, beating out violent crimes and drug crimes.
Residents in the Dalraida area are trying to combat those numbers. They're coming together for a neighborhood watch event, meeting with members of MPD and their community. It will be held on August 7th from 6-7 p.m. at the intersection of Royal Crest Drive and Highpoint Road.
"We felt like it would be a good idea if some of the neighbors got together and met with members of the Montgomery police department to see if we might maybe start something new in our neighborhood. We don't know exactly right now what will occur from this but working with the police department, the neighbors, we feel like we can do something to make it safe in our neighborhood, bring the crime down some," Tatum told WSFA.
Meanwhile, the teenage burglary suspect was taken to the Montgomery County Youth Detention Facility.