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Authorities close in on jewelry theft ring
Arrests mount as group linked to many crimes across state, region
michael Young


Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of two additional suspects, Michael Willie Young or Devoria Raynard Wright, in the Sept. 25 burglary of Milano Fine Jewelry is asked to call the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Crime Stoppers tip line at (770) 888-7308. Callers may remain anonymous.

The ongoing investigation into a $2.5 million heist at a Forsyth County jewelry store last fall has gained momentum with additional arrests and evidence linking the suspects to other similar crimes across the state and region.


In addition, a $1,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the capture of two other suspects, while a third man whom authorities were seeking in the case was killed during a domestic dispute earlier this month.


Forsyth County Sheriff’s Lt. Bill Franco said some or all of the suspects have been tied to more than 23 burglaries at businesses throughout the southeastern United States that sell jewelry.


According to France, the crimes have totaled more than $22 million in property damage and theft.


During the course of their probe, authorities have recovered some of the merchandise taken in the Sept. 25 burglary of Milano Fine Jewelry on Buford Highway, as well as jewelry from other heists around the metro Atlanta area.


Sheriff’s Lt. Col. Gene Moss said the investigation is continuing.


“The evidence has been building in the investigation and there’s a lot of evidence to link these individuals to the Milano burglary,” he said.


The reward in the Milano case involves Michael Willie Young, 43, and Devoria Raynard Wright, 35, both of Atlanta.


Franco said Young, who goes by the alias “Herman Young Jr.,” had been arrested in July by Auburn, Ala., authorities in connection with a jewelry store burglary there.


The last known address for Wright, who goes by the alias “Billy Ray,” was in the College Park area.


“These are individuals we’ve been looking for,” Franco said. “We’ve exhausted our resources and would like assistance from the community.”


According to information from the sheriff’s office, Young is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs about 180 pounds, while the 6-foot-1-inch Wright is listed at 190 pounds.


Over the past month, the sheriff’s office added three other men — Eric Lanard Stephens and Giacobi Trevell Kelly, both 35, and James Junior Love, 41 — to the list of those facing burglary charges related to the Milano case.


Stephens turned up in the Fulton County jail, where he was being held on unrelated charges. He has since been transferred to Forsyth custody.


Love, who is currently being held in Clayton County, was arrested during an attempted burglary at a flea market there, authorities said.


He had also been arrested along with Young in connection with the Auburn, Ala., case.


The sheriff’s warrants unit arrested Kelly at his home in southwest Atlanta.


Authorities had also identified Dionte Montrell Bradley, 30, of Atlanta, as a suspect.


Bradley, however, was slain during a Dec. 22 domestic dispute in East Point, they said.


At least six other people face charges in connection with the Milano heist.


The include Demetrice Orlando Jenkins, David L. Parker, Carl Henry Bowser III, Christopher Lamar Funderburk, Amanda Hogan and Kenardis Holloway, all of the metro Atlanta area.


Charges against two other people have since been dropped.


Authorities have said the theft was reported Sept. 26 by a construction crew working at an empty building next door.


They arrived for work that morning and found a hole in the wall that authorities have said the suspects used to enter Milano.


The suspects had disabled the security system, ransacked the store, breached the safe and taken security equipment.