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Badge and Bar: Employees install trail cameras to catch thief

After a car break-in reported by Gainesville’s public utilities division, wireless security cameras were installed to catch the alleged perpetrator, police said.

Gainesville Police first took the entering auto report Feb. 5.

“Subsequently, employees installed trail cameras that would later capture camera footage of two additional entering autos by what appeared to be the same suspect. Tools, equipment, copper, and various vehicle parts were stolen from multiple public utility trucks,” Cpl. Jessica Van wrote in a news release.

The stolen items were tracked to businesses in Norcross based on their serial numbers.

The wireless security cameras were placed all over the public utilities’ property on Hancock Avenue that would alert police if there was any activity.

Around 2:30 a.m. March 4, the investigators got the alert they were anticipating.

Patrol officers arrested the suspect at the scene, and he was charged with entering auto, criminal interference with government property, criminal trespass and possession of tools for commission of a crime.

“Upon identification of the arrested that evening, it was confirmed he was responsible for selling stolen property in Norcross on earlier dates,” Van said.

28 people pinched for St. Patrick’s Day holiday

Hall County and Gainesville-area law enforcement wrote nearly 500 citations between Saturday, March 16 and St. Patrick’s Day, including 28 arrests.

Law enforcement called it PINCH, or Proactively Impacting Numerous Crash Hotspots.

“During the operation officers made over 500 contacts with drivers during the campaign.

The combined efforts resulted in 12 DUI arrests, 483 citations and 16 other traffic, drug and warrant arrests,” according to Gainesville Police.

No fatal crashes were reported over the weekend.

Two churches burglarized, more than $10K in equipment stolen

Burglary suspects broke glass at two churches on Shallowford Road, leaving with more than $10,000 in equipment.

Gainesville Police said it happened between 8:30 p.m. March 13 and 1 p.m. March 14 on Shallowford Road.

Cpl. Jessica Van said the suspects entered Kingdom Harvest World Ministry “via the front of the church by breaking the glass.’

A $500 TV was reported stolen.

With the same technique, burglars broke in to a Pentecostal church in the same shopping center.

“Over $10,000 worth of audio/visual equipment was stolen,” Van said.

Police did not have information on suspects.