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4 charged with auto break-ins
Suspects may also have hit Johns Creek, Milton
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Forsyth County News

Authorities have arrested four suspects from Atlanta they believe are responsible for a recent rash of vehicle break-ins in Forsyth County and perhaps elsewhere.

Forsyth County Sheriff's investigators said Demario Bates, 18, Keivis Ross, 17, Travis Nelson, 23, and a 16-year-old boy have each been charged with six counts of entering auto.

The suspects were arrested Monday after a late night chase and search.

In addition, each of the four has been charged with one count of criminal trespassing, investigators said. Bates also was charged with possession of marijuana and Nelson faces one count with theft by receiving motor vehicle.

All three men remained in custody Tuesday night. A jail spokeswoman said Bates' bond has been set at $35,970, while bond for Ross and Nelson is $34,815 each.

The 16-year-old, whose identity has not been released because of his age, is being held at the Regional Youth Detention Center in Gainesville.

The recent auto break-ins had deputies on alert Monday night.

"The key was the plan they had in place and had already talked about," Sheriff's Capt. Ron Freeman said.

That plan included setting up a perimeter to watch for suspects. There were five patrol cars in the area within four minutes of the 911 call about 2 a.m. Monday.

Freeman said deputies were summoned to the Eagle Creek subdivision off Bald Ridge Marina Road, where a resident reported that someone had broken into his vehicles.

"He realized his vehicle was damaged from someone trying to get in and items were missing from [his wife's]," Freeman said.

A white Ford Explorer aroused the suspicions of deputies in the area. It "took off" heading south on Ga. 400, Freeman said, and led them back to Cumming and down Hwy. 9.

The Explorer turned onto Hughes Drive, just north of Cumming, where four suspects jumped out of the truck.

Authorities caught Bates on Hughes Drive, Freeman said. The others were found near Hwy. 306 and Ga. 400 and Antioch Road. All four were in custody by 7 a.m.

Freeman said a deputy was injured in the pursuit when his patrol struck a ditch in the dark. The officer is expected to return to work in a few days.

Deputies found items in the sport utility vehicle that were missing from Eagle Creek and the Bald Ridge Acres subdivision, Freeman said. Some items are thought to have been taken from Alpharetta, Milton or Johns Creek.

Sheriff's Investigator Meriann Stokes said the sport utility vehicle had been reported stolen from a home in Cobb County and the owner didn't know it was gone until authorities called him.

She said the owner had left his keys in it.

"Most of the items that were in the vehicle have been returned to the owners," she said.

Freeman said the incident is similar to others and authorities are comparing them to see if the same suspects may have been involved.