MARIETTA, Ga. -- Cobb County Police were able to track down a suspect in the case of stolen election equipment, but the technology itself is sitting in a landfill somewhere.
The Saturday before Georgia's special election, a Cobb County poll worker stopped at a grocery store on his way home from a preparation center. He left what poll workers call "election poll books" in his truck. When he came out, they were gone. While the Cobb County elections supervisor assured 11Alive the theft didn't pose any threat to voter privacy or election integrity, the Georgia Secretary of State's office said they were "furious."
During their investigation, detectives processed the truck and matched fingerprints to 18-year-old Kareem Riley of College Park.He was arrested and charged with entering auto.
In the wee hours after Election Day, Cobb County detectives served a search warrant at a home in Clayton County and recovered a cell phone that was also stolen.
Detectives interviewed the Riley, as well as additional accomplices, and determined the election equipment was deemed useless and placed in a trash dumpster over the weekend. A Cobb County spokesperson said they won't be able to recover it.
"The dumpster has subsequently been emptied and deposited at a land fill," an official said. "It has been determined that any effort to retrieve the stolen equipment at the landfill would be unsuccessful."
“I deeply appreciate the thorough and swift actions of the Cobb County police,” County Commission Chairman Mike Boyce said in a statement sent to 11Alive. “Their efforts complemented the work done by the board and the county staff to assure the candidates and voters that the county was doing everything possible to protect the integrity of the voting process.”