Atlanta police aren’t sure what happened to a 26-year-old’s pants when he was caught in connection with a rash of reported car break-ins.
DeClarence McGee was found without pants, lying by an apartment on Greenwood Avenue, about a mile and a half from where police said three or four young men were breaking into cars at Yorkshire and Monroe Drive about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Officers on Monroe Drive saw the suspects in a stolen Chrysler Pacifica that had a broken tail light and chased the car about a mile and a half to where Greenwood Avenue intersects with Ponce De Leon Avenue, Atlanta police spokesman Lukasz Sajdak said.
When they drove off, the suspects in the Pacifica almost hit two police cars, Sajdak said.
Several more calls about car break-ins were reported in the area overnight including on Saint Charles Avenue, Waverly Way and Euclid Avenue. Officers found the Pacifica at the intersection of Greenwood Avenue and Ponce De Leon Avenue.
The suspects hit a rock wall at a dead end and ran off, Sajdak said. Police found several cell phones in the car, with tools and book bags in the cargo space.
Suspects fanned out, walking beside the car, and randomly broke into cars they passed, Sajdak said. A total of 70 cars, with 20 on Ponce De Leon Avenue, were damaged or broken into, but many cars had no property taken.
McGee was charged with prowling after he couldn’t tell police how he got to the apartments or why he was there at all. Even after officers tried to backtrack McGee’s possible route to where the car was found, they couldn’t find his pants.
“There were too many avenues of egress and they were unable to locate the pants,” Sajdak said.
Police believe the suspects organized with a driver cruising neighborhoods looking for cars to break into.
Sajdak said investigators have “solid suspect descriptions” and police expect to get warrants for arrest.