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Man accused of smash-and-grab burglary spree
Hai Quoc Bennett
Hai Quoc Bennett

A Flowery Branch man is accused of breaking the glass at multiple businesses and stealing merchandise across Oakwood and Gainesville, including the same Dollar General twice, police said.

After asking the public for assistance, Oakwood Police identified the suspect as Hai Quoc Bennett, 32.

“Oakwood investigators met with investigators at Gainesville Police Department and were able to confirm Bennett had committed a similar burglary in their jurisdiction. Officers also discovered other unspecified evidence connecting Bennett to the burglaries,” Investigator Todd Templeton wrote in a news release.

Templeton said the Gainesville burglary was at an Atlanta Highway Metro PCS store, though he did not specify when or what was taken.

Each case involved more than $500 in property damage, according to the investigator.

Law enforcement found Bennett Thursday, May 16, at the Shallowford Road Walmart in Gainesville, and Templeton said the man had syringes in his possession at the time of arrest.

Bennett was charged with four counts of smash-and-grab burglary and possession of drug-related objects.

Oakwood Police put out a call for assistance after Bennett allegedly broke into the AT&T store April 26 on Winder Highway, though that was not the first smash-and-grab burglary he would be connected to.

Police investigated an April 14 incident at the Atlanta Highway Swap and Trade Pawn, and two incidents on May 3 and May 7 at the Atlanta Highway Dollar General.

Templeton said Bennett was unable to get into the pawn shop after smashing the glass, but the investigator said the suspect took “multiple inexpensive cellphones” from the Dollar General on both occasions.

Templeton previously told The Times Bennett allegedly used a hammer to break in to the AT&T store, taking less than $200 in merchandise and causing roughly $900 in property damage.