Authorities say the arrest of a 38-year-old Clayton County man on multiple felony charges could have a big impact on the property crime rate in Forsyth and nearby counties.
Forsyth County Sheriff’s investigators said Demarquell D. Chaney will face 33 counts of entering auto and one count of theft by taking motor vehicle.
He is being held without bond at the Fulton County jail on various charges, including entering auto and burglary.
According to information on the jail Web site, Chaney also faces charges from DeKalb and Clayton counties.
Authorities said other jurisdictions, such as Sandy Springs, Roswell and Cherokee County may also charge Chaney.
Sheriff’s Capt. Paul Taylor said entering autos has been the biggest property crime issue in Forsyth over the past couple of years.
“I think his arrest is going to put a big dent in that type of crime in the south end of Forsyth County and the north metro area,” Taylor said.
Sheriff’s Investigator Jason Soles said Chaney was arrested Sept. 24 by Alpharetta police while on his way to visit the Clayton County probation office.
Meriann Stokes, who is also a local sheriff's investigator, said evidence against Chaney goes back to a February 2008 case involving 15 vehicles.
She said a majority of the vehicles were accessed by force.
“We developed a suspect based on forensic evidence and a warrant was obtained for [Chaney],” she said. “We’ve been looking for him ever since.”
Soles said investigators have linked Chaney to two other local cases of multiple auto break-ins.
“We did the necessary forensic work when we first got the evidence and that helped pull all this together,” Soles said.
He said authorities responded to several reports of vehicles being entered Sept. 23 in the Brookwood Lakes and Glenmoor subdivisions. Deputies found a Ford Fusion in Brookwood Lakes that had been stolen from Sandy Springs.
They traced a cell phone inside to a resident whose 2003 Honda Element had been stolen. That vehicle was found Tuesday in DeKalb County.
Soles said at the time of his arrest Chaney was wearing a backpack that included a laptop computer, driver's license and credit card belonging to the Honda owner.
Authorities later searched Chaney’s home, Stokes said, where they found property taken in 2004 from Gwinnett County.