Reward offered in car break-in spree

Police gun, taser stolen

Deputies are looking for thieves who stole a police handgun and taser … and they’re willing to pay cash to anyone who points them in the right direction.

According to reports filed at the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, nine parked vehicles were plundered along Crestridge Drive in the Barrett West Subdivision early last Tuesday morning.

“Some were broken into, but the majority of the vehicles were unlocked,” said Sgt. Matt Raulerson, an investigator for the sheriff’s office.

While the thieves skipped over the home Burke County Sheriff Greg Coursey, they took their biggest haul from an unmarked Waynesboro police car outside the home of Major Mary Bennett.

After gaining access through a rear window, the offenders made off with her duty belt which held a taser and a Smith & Wesson handgun with two magazines. They also stole bank bags for two non- profit groups for which the officer is a volunteer. The Progressive Ladies Club lost $ 1,300, and the Watkinsville Baptist Church Choir is out $1,000.

According to the report, the major’s emptied duty belt was found in the yard across the street.

Another handgun was stolen from a second Barrett resident, and a truck was heavily damaged when the thieves tried to pry a stereo system from the console. At another house, a wallet was stolen from a truck but inadvertently dropped in the driveway.

Under the county’s reward fund, up to $1,000 may be paid for information leading to the arrest and conviction of each suspect. To submit a tip, call investigators at 706-554- 2133.

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