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Barnesville man arrested for multiple auto break-ins

A Barnesville man was one of two alleged principals in an auto break-in ring taken down by Pike County sheriff’s deputies. Corey Thomas, 32, of Barnesville was arrested by the Pike County sheriff’s office after an investigation that spanned several months. Also arrested was Shadric Dixon, 33, of Griffin. Both have extensive criminal histories including several convictions for entering autos. Thomas is on parole after spending time in prison for the crime. ”Investigators conducted many hours of surveillance on these suspects to learn their patterns of illegal activities and associates involved in the crimes,” said Pike County sheriff Jimmy Thomas. Sheriff Thomas said investigators learned the men traveled to different counties late at night, driving through neighborhoods to locate potential victims. One would enter the vehicle through an unlocked door or by breaking a window. ”Firearms, GPS systems, laptop computers, iPods, cash and credit cards were commonly taken,” he said. “The suspects would go to different gas stations and immediately use the stolen credit cards to buy gas. They commonly used those that had no exterior security cameras.” The pair have been linked to auto break-ins in Pike, Fayette, Lamar, Spalding and Henry counties and are facing charges in all of them. Search warrants were served on Corey Thomas’ residence in Barnesville and two homes in Griffin. Items stolen from numerous autos were recovered and investigators are working to determine the origin of some of them. Additional charges of theft by receiving stolen property and possession of firearms by a convicted felon are being filed as a result of the search warrants. Corey Thomas was in the Pike County jail awaiting a bond hearing Thursday while Dixon was being housed in the Fayette County jail. They face a total of 10 counts of entering an auto, which carry prison terms of five years each. Those who may have purchased items from the suspects are asked to call the sheriff’s office at 770-567-8431. ”You may have unknowingly bought stolen items,” the sheriff said. Sheriff Thomas also thanked the Lamar and Fayette sheriff’s offices and the Griffin police department for their assistance in the investigation.

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