Authorities believe a woman who was caught on a security camera burglarizing a South Hall home couldn’t take the glare of the media spotlight.
Hall County Sheriff’s officials said 41-year-old Rhonda Rollinson abandoned her gold Toyota at a Spout Springs Road convenience store Tuesday, the same day a video was broadcast by several news outlets showing a woman burglarizing a Hampton Ridge home, where a similar Toyota was shown in the background. Investigators believe the woman seen fleeing the home with a laptop computer in her arms was Rollinson, Col. Jeff Strickland said.
On Wednesday, Rollinson was arrested at a Buford residence after a Flowery Branch police officer spotted the abandoned car.
“We believe the pressure of the investigation and the media coverage caused her to abandon her vehicle,” Strickland said.
The homeowner who supplied investigators with the video footage, Kevin Olson, runs his own security company, Synthesis, LLC, and cameras were rolling outside his house as the noontime burglary occurred.
“They surely picked the wrong house, and the wrong guy to steal from,” Olson said.
Investigators recovered a large stash of stolen items in the woods behind the Gwinnett County home where Rollinson was arrested.
They included digital music players, cameras, laptop computers, binoculars, guns and a video projection machine.
Rollinson’s boyfriend, Benjamin Jefferson Finley, was charged with theft by receiving and obstruction.
Rollinson is a suspect in at least three burglaries in the Flowery Branch area, Strickland said. The houses were forcibly entered in daylight hours while the homeowners were away.
Investigators have identified the owners of about half of the stolen items, Strickland said. They’re still looking for the owners of a stack of old sheet music and a cigar box filled with harmonicas.
Strickland said it is rare to see women arrested on burglary charges.
“The Hall County Sheriff’s Office has made about 100 burglary arrests this year, and probably less than 5 percent were females,” he said.
Olson, the homeowner, said he was pleased with the work done by the sheriff’s office in locating a suspect.
“It’s a comforting feeling to know that when you’ve been violated in that way that there’s some recourse, and that they can track them down with the video evidence,” he said.
Rollinson has a prior arrest record for a burglary charge and for attempting to hit a person while fleeing a burglary, Strickland said.
She remained in the Hall County jail Wednesday on three counts of burglary and a probation violation hold.