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Police release more info on cases believed to be connected to Dixon investigation
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Investigators work a crime scene along Highland Avenue Monday, July 8, 2019, where Hall County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon was shot and killed Sunday night while pursuing burglary suspects on foot. - photo by Scott Rogers

Police released more information on cases that are believed to have some sort of connection to the Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon death investigation, with reports that date back to January.

Gainesville Police told The Times about three reports that are still active and open investigations.

“At this time, the only information connecting our cases to the Dixon case is the stolen property. During the (Georgia Bureau of Investigation) and Hall County investigations and arrests involving the Dixon case, stolen property from our cases was recovered,” Cpl. Jessica Van wrote in an email.

Police did not release what specific property was recovered.

Dixon was fatally shot July 7 in an exchange of gunfire in Gainesville after pulling over a car and engaging in a foot pursuit with four suspects. Police have said the car was stolen, and a pawn shop burglary in which a large number of firearms were stolen is connected.

From left, Hector Garcia-Solis, London Clements, Brayan Omar Cruz and Eric Edgardo Velazquez.

Four 17-year-olds were arrested July 8 and charged with felony murder. The following week, five more teenagers were arrested and charged with tampering with evidence and hindering the apprehension of a criminal.

Gainesville Police took a report Jan. 14 at Eddie’s Auto Sales regarding four missing vehicles.

“(The) victim reported when he arrived at business he noticed power was off and someone had thrown a jack stand through the window.  He found numerous sets of car keys from the lot were missing, along with four vehicles,” Deputy Chief John Robertson wrote in an email.

Owner Oscar Gomez-Garcia said one person in a hoodie was seen early in the morning.

The cars listed in the report were a 2004 Audi Roadster, a 2006 BMW 330i, a 2006 Subaru Impreza and a 2007 Ford Mustang.

Robertson said two of the cars were recovered the next day, and a third was found a few days later. Gomez-Garcia said one is still missing.

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Rodolfo Rodriguez-Puentes, Jorge Rodriguez, Antony Macias, Adrian Gonzalez-Verduzco, Jiovanny Castillo

The second report involved a lost purse from June 18 on Dawsonville Highway.

“(The) victim reported her purse was lost or mislaid the previous day by possibly falling from her vehicle, but she did not realize it at the time.  She returned to the business the next day and filed a report when it could not be located,” Robertson said.

The items listed in the report include eyeglasses, earphones, a wallet, $40 in cash, an ID badge, a key and photos.

The final report was July 6 — the day before the shooting — at Texas Trucks and Autos on Industrial Boulevard.

“(The) victim reported someone entered the business after hours through a hole in a wall from ongoing construction, then pried open a locked office door.  Nothing was reported to be taken from the business,” Robertson wrote in an email.

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A number of guns were stolen from a Shallowford Road pawn shop earlier this month. - photo by Scott Rogers

An attempt to reach someone at the business for comment was unsuccessful.

Police Chief Jay Parrish previously told The Times a DeKalb County crime scene van may also be connected to Dixon’s case. Police took a report July 6 regarding a van operated by a civilian employee who lives in Gainesville.

According to the report, police believe the suspects used a “jimmy/pry tool or device” between 11 p.m. July 5 and 6 p.m. July 6.

The report listed a pepper spray, camera, utility belt, baton, flashlight and two panels of a bulletproof vest as stolen.

“During the arrest of those responsible for the crimes surrounding Deputy Dixon’s death, Hall County (sheriff’s office deputies were) able to recover the following items that were stolen from the DeKalb County Crime Scene Van,” Gainesville Police Chief Jay Parrish said Friday, July 19.

The items recovered included the pepper spray, utility belt and baton.

“We certainly believe that that break-in of that vehicle was connected to the same group that’s responsible for Deputy Dixon’s murder,” he said.

The GBI said it has solved six related burglaries, two thefts of motor vehicles and three entering auto cases. 

Hall County Sheriff’s Office Derreck Booth confirmed that the DeKalb van was among the crimes listed as solved from the GBI’s announcement.

Dixon was the first Hall deputy to be shot and killed in the line of duty in nearly 100 years.

On Thursday, the Hall County Board of Commissioners voted in favor of a resolution that would have the county cover the insurance premiums for Dixon’s dependents for the next 36 months.

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Hall County Sheriff's Office Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon. - photo by Hall County Sheriff's Office