Same burglar suspected of stealing $26,000 worth of cellphones from 2 Athens stores


By Wayne Ford, Athens Banner-Herald

Athens Banner-Herald

Athens-Clarke police detectives are working to identify the person who burglarized two cellphone businesses Wednesday and stole about $26,000 worth of phones.

The burglaries of Cell Phone Guy on Oconee Street and Boost Mobile on Hawthorne Avenue occurred about 35 minutes apart, according to police reports. The businesses are about four miles from each other.

Police spokesman Geoff Gilland said Thursday that detectives believe the crimes were committed by the same suspect, who may also have committed similar crimes in Gwinnett County.

Police were alerted to the burglaries when a burglar alarm activated about 3:47 a.m. at Cell Phone Guy after the front glass door was shattered.

An officer arrived to find the store already looted, but later while on scene with the store manager, he learned another cellphone store had been burglarized in similar fashion on Hawthorne Avenue, according to police.

The officer was given a partial list of stolen merchandise at Cell Phone Guy that amounted to 35 phones valued at about $11,120.

Officers who arrived at Boost Mobile found a similar situation with the front door shattered along with a door to a back room forced open.

After the manager arrived, he estimated that $15,000 worth of phones was taken, but he didn’t have an exact amount.

Surveillance video showed a man enter the business wearing a ski mask, hoodie and gloves and use a crowbar to open a cabinet that contained many of the phones, according to the report.

Police believe the same suspect may be involved in similar crimes in Gwinnett County and are working with law enforcement agencies there, Gilland said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Erik Hogan at (762) 400-7306 or

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