LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — Within two hours on Tuesday, thieves in Gwinnett County hit multiple hotels and apartment complexes, breaking into a total of 26 vehicles, Gwinnett County Police said.
The crimes happened between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. within the unincorporated Lawrenceville area.
Walden Alvarez was parked at a Hampton Inn off of Riverside Drive where he left his valuables inside his pickup overnight.
“They stole my wife’s wedding ring worth about $6,000, my wallet with $500 cash," he said.
The suspects arrived at the locations in a black SUV, possibly a Jeep Cherokee, police said. The vehicle appeared to have blacked-out rims and a long sticker on the top portion of the rear window.
Witnesses and surveillance footage observed the suspects to be three black males. Two were wearing black jackets and the third was wearing a black hoodie. One had white tennis shoes and another had red tennis shoes.
The suspects got into the vehicles by smashing windows. The most common items stolen were wallets.
Gwinnett County Police received a flood of 911 calls from victims at five hotels and two apartment complexes.
The incident locations were:
- Hearthside Sugarloaf Apartments – 5600 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville
- Hampton Inn – 1135 Lakes Parkway, Lawrenceville
- Comfort Inn and Suites – 2225 Riverside Parkway, Lawrenceville
- Herrington Mill Apartments – 1564 Herrington Road, Lawrenceville
- Country Inn and Suites – 989 Duluth Highway, Lawrenceville
- Hampton Inn – 6010 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville
- Homewood Suites – 1775 North Brown Road, Lawrenceville
“This was a lot of incidences during a short period of time," said Gwinnett County Police Corporal Kathleen Adams.
Gwinnett Police used this opportunity to remind residents to remove valuables from vehicles.
"Please remember to remove valuable items such as purses, wallets, electronics and weapons from vehicles, especially when parked outside overnight," they said. "Having nothing visible may help deter the vehicle from being broken into."
"It's often times preventable," Cpl. Adams said. And if anyone sees the three men breaking into vehicles, "Please, Number One, do not engage the suspects. Call 911. And be the best witness possible. Give a good description, whether it's clothes, vehicles, any information that our officers can use to help identify these suspects."
Walden Alvarez is as mad at himself as he is at the criminals.
"I'm very, very frustrated, very upset, very mad because this is not right. It's not right. I'm very upset."
If anyone has any information to share in this case, please contact GCPD detectives at 770-513-5300. To remain anonymous, tipsters should contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.stopcrimeATL.com.