Decatur Police arrest man connected to series of burglaries
This story has been updated.
Decatur police have arrested a man they say is connected to a series of burglaries in the Decatur Heights neighborhood.
Lt. Jennifer Ross said 27-year-old Nehemiah Christopher of DeKalb County was arrested Wednesday on two counts of burglary.
Police say he is the suspect in robberies that happened at homes on Ridgeland Avenue and Lockwood Terrace on the evening of Friday, August 7.
One burglary victim, who didn’t want to be identified, told Decaturish that Decatur Police returned a gaming system to him on Monday that was stolen from the home and recovered at a pawn shop.
The victim said police called him earlier Wednesday to tell him the suspect had been arrested. The victim said he was very appreciative that the Decatur police were able to resolve the case.
Lt. Jennifer Ross previously said that officers responded to a burglary in the 100 block of Ridgeland Avenue on August 7 just before 7 p.m.
“The victim reported he was upstairs inside of his residence when he heard his door alarm chime,” Ross said. “He walked down the stairs when he heard the door alarm chime again. He checked the front door and it was locked. He walked towards the back door and he could see a black male walking down his rear deck stairs. The male was wearing a light colored tank top and dark shorts.”
The victim followed the suspect and saw him running on Sycamore Drive. Officers noticed there was forced entry into the rear kitchen window. They saw pry marks on the window and the lock was damaged, Ross said. The back door had been unlocked before the incident happened, the victim told the officer.
Other witnesses and callers told officers they saw a black male, about 5’10 and 180 lbs, with a dark complexion wearing a gray tank top and black cargo shorts “lurking around the rear window of a home in the 500 block of Sycamore Drive,” Ross said.
The witnesses watched the suspect and saw him crouch near a bush behind a home. That’s when they called police, Ross said. The suspect got up and walked northbound on Sycamore Drive.
“While waiting on the police to arrive, they observed the male coming from the area of Ridgeland Avenue toward Sycamore Drive,” Ross said. “Witnesses heard the male saying ‘I got to go to work’ repeatedly as he was running away and saw that he had a pair of needle nose pliers in his hands.”
Ross said that a little later, at 7:31 p.m., police responded to a call of a male exiting a rear window of a home in the 300 block of Lockwood Terrace.
“Officers arrived and met with the victim who reported he secured and left his residence at approximately 7 p.m. and had just returned and discovered a pair of gloves that did not belong to him lying on a dog bed in the living room,” Ross said. “While conducting a perimeter check of the residence, officers were flagged down by the initial caller (a neighbor who lived behind the victim) who stated he observed a black male, dark complexion, early 20’s, athletic build, with short black hair and wearing a light colored tank top exit the rear window of the residence. ”
Ross said that the suspect jumped over the fence into the neighbor’s yard. The neighbor told the suspect, “You don’t want come into this yard. The police are on the way.”
The suspect said “O.K.” and jumped back over the fence. He fled on foot toward Lockwood Terrace, Ross said.
Police later answered a burglar alarm call on Lockwood Terrace that evening. They found the rear kitchen window screen was removed and there were pry marks on the window. Ross said nothing was taken from the home.
Correction: An earlier version of the story said police called the victim Tuesday to tell him the suspect had been arrested. Decatur police called him Wednesday. The story has been updated to reflect this.