Officers acted quickly after a group of thieves rammed a Ford Taurus through the entrance to the Focus Clothing Store downtown, ransacked the shop and escaped with $50,000 worth of designer jeans.
After finding two stolen cars in the Sylvan Road area, police converged on a home in the 700 block of Dill Avenue, Deputy Chief Calvin Moss told the AJC.
“They got over there and found some of the stolen items scattered about outside the residence and found the nine subjects inside,” Moss said. “A search warrant was obtained for the house, and additional stolen property and a quantity of narcotics was found there.”
Moss said the quick arrests resulted from months of investigation.
“Our gang unit has been tracking some individuals for quite some time,” he said. “They know the areas to go to, and they simply followed up on some of the leads they were able to develop from the crime scenes.”
Moss identified the adult suspects as Jarquez Hood, 20, and Deaundrae Williams, 17. The seven juveniles range from 14 to 16 years old.
The smash-and-grab at Focus, on Peachtree Street near Alabama Street, happened just after 2:30 a.m. and was captured by a store surveillance camera.
Owner David Song told the AJC he was shocked because he recently installed a new iron gate over the front glass.
“I never thought about something like this happening,” he said.
Song estimated the thieves caused an additional $20,000 in damage.
Moss said the suspects stole three cars in southwest Atlanta early Sunday to use in the burglaries. Police found a green Ford Taurus and a silver Jeep Liberty but continue to look for a green Pontiac Grand Prix, tag no. BWD-1097.
Anyone who has seen the Grand Prix should call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.
Moss said the suspects could be responsible for other recent smash-and-grabs.
And he urged the public to help police combat gangs.
“We really are soliciting input from law-abiding citizens who know these people,” Moss said.
Police believe 30 Deep started in the Mechanicsville neighborhood near Turner Field. They say the gang has committed commercial burglaries from Buckhead to Gwinnett County, and that members sell drugs, stolen high-end jeans and expensive electronics.
One member is charged with the January 2009 murder of John Henderson, the popular bartender at Standard Food & Spirits in Grant Park.
“What makes them different is they are persistent,” Sgt. Archie Ezell, a member of the Atlanta Police Department’s gang unit, told the AJC last month. “They will go out and do a crime and they don’t mind doing two or three burglaries a night. They’re always on the move, always wanting to do some kind of crime.”