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Posted: 4:33 a.m. Friday, Sept. 23, 2016

Prowler caught without pants as Atlanta police chase break-in suspects

70-car crime spree leads to arrest of ‘prowler’ without pants
A total of 70 cars were broken into late Tuesday and early Wednesday in Atlanta.

By Ellen Eldridge

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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 about a mile and a half from where police said three or four young men were breaking into cars about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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Officers saw the suspects in a stolen Chrysler Pacifica that had a broken tail light and chased the car about a mile and a half, 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.

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 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.