Shortly after a burglary, a Forsyth County officer interviewed two men who were behaving suspiciously with jewelry hanging from their clothes– then let them go.
Now police said the two men were part of a sophisticated group that stole an estimated $2.8 million in cash and jewelry from a safe that manufacturers said have never been broken into.
Days later, police had both men in custody.
“This was a very sophisticated group, using professional tools,” Forsyth County Sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Tim House said. “They knew how to fault the alarm and break into the safe. The manufacturer said this was the first time the safe has been broken into.”
The burglars also stole the surveillance equipment, ransacked the store and damaged the computer system, which housed the store’s inventory, Capt. House said.
Investigators believe the burglary happened between Saturday and Sunday evening at Milano Fine Jewelry at 1245 Beaufort Hwy.
Still, it would be Monday before officers realized there had been a burglary.
The burglars deactivated the alarm system for the business, which was in a strip mall and adjoined to a vacant building, Capt. House said.
The burglars pried open the door to the vacant building and, once inside, made a hole in the wall of the jewelry store to gain entrance, Capt. House said.
Sometime Sunday evening, officers received a call about a suspicious vehicle parked behind a building of another strip mall across the highway.
The responding officer found the two men inside the vehicle with jewelry on them behind a business that was closed, Capt. House said.
Still, unaware that a crime had been committed, the officer interviewed the two men then let them go.
It’s unclear what explanation the men gave the officer for being at the mall.
About 8:30 a.m., a construction crew arrived to work on the vacant building and found the hole in the wall. They contacted police.
Officers arrested Mr. Carl Henry Bowser, III, 26, about 3 p.m. Tuesday at a home in southwest Atlanta, Capt. House said. They arrested Mr. Kenardis Demaine Holloway, 32, of Smyrna, at Sleep Inn Suites in Stockbridge, the captain said.
Both men were charged with burglary and theft by receiving, Capt. House said.
“We have recovered some items,” Capt. House said. “I’m not at liberty to say how much or the value.”
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