ATHENS, Ga. -- Police have identified Antonio Hornsby, 54, as a suspect in a recent rash of thefts at businesses throughout the metro Atlanta area.
Hornsby has been charged with felony warrants for burglaryand theft, and misdemeanor theft by taking, and loitering and prowling by Athens-Clarke County Police.
Police are alerting law enforcement officials and citizens to be on the lookout for Hornsby. They believe he is driving a stolen beige 1994 Buick Regal GA Tag# GA 803I.
From March 15 to 19, Hornsby is suspected of entering four Athens businesses and an elementary school where he stole wallets from women's purses.
Police said Hornsby gained entry to the businesses by posing as a carpet cleaner or pest control maintenance worker.
"He is likely travelling southbound along I-75 en route to Florida,"Athens-Clarke County Police Detective Louis Pasqualetti told 11Alive News. "He has family and associates living in the Tampa area ... caution should be used if contact is made with this individual."
Hornsby is also a suspect in nine other similar thefts in Winder, Duluth, Braselton, Acworth, Cartersville and Henry County.
The latest theft happened at Henry County Transit on Friday at about 2 p.m. Henry County Police said the suspect told workers in the government building he was contracted to clean the carpets. While in the building police said he took wallets of the employees.
ORIGINAL STORY and PHOTOS:
BRASELTON, Ga -- He's at it again. A man known as the "316 Office Creeper" stole wallets from three more businesses. That makes 11 thefts in six days along the Highway 316 corridor. Police agencies in four counties are investigating the case.
The latest thefts happened in Duluth and in Braselton. On Wednesday morning he walked into the Lloyd Pro Group at 2675 Breckinridge Boulevard and told an employee he was there to clean the carpets. He walked into an office and stole a woman's wallet.
Less than an hour later he walked into the Community and Southern Bank on Highway 211 in Braselton and stole two wallets. Then he walked into the Country Inn and Suites but an employee asked him for identification and he walked out.
On Wednesday he hit three businesses in Winder including the Classic Hair Salon on Piedmont Drive. "He walked up to my co-worker and said he was there to spray for bugs," said owner Judy Barclay.
Barclay said the suspect acted like he belonged there. "And he just walked towards the kitchen area, our break room and I had left my wallet there from lunch," she said. She said the suspect grabbed her wallet and walked out.
Between March 15th and 19th the suspect stole wallets from five different locations in Athens, including Timothy Road Elementary School where police were able to get a picture of his car, a gold Buick four-door sedan.
He either says he is there to clean the carpets or that he is there to do pest control. So far he hasn't hurt anyone. "He's not posing a threat but you never can tell," said Braselton Assistant Chief Lou Solis. "We just want to be on the safe side so if there's a suspicious person coming in saying they want to do some kind of work and you don't know about the work, then call 911."
He doesn't seem to care that cameras are watching his every move. That's ultimately what police hope will get him caught.
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