On Friday March 11, at approximately 3:20 a.m., the City of Winder Police Department responded to an alarm at the Akins Ford Dealership.
Upon arrival, officers checked the perimeter of the building and property and located a pickup truck on Polite Road that was still warm to the touch. There was no one around and no one immediately located on the dealership’s property.
The vehicle information revealed that the truck was registered to someone from South Carolina.
A WPD officer remained in the area for the next two hours until someone was observed walking in the location of the truck. Officers encountered a man named Larry Owens on Polite Road. Owens stated he was walking to a nearby store, but told police he did not know his address as he had just moved to Winder from South Carolina.
Owens could not provide clear details about his purpose for being in the area and was ultimately placed under arrest for loitering and prowling. When asked if he was familiar with the truck, Owens claimed he did not know anything about it.
It was later determined that Owens’ address in South Carolina was the same address the truck was registered to. A search warrant was obtained for the truck as well as for cell phones that were located in the truck. Information obtained from the cell phones led police to charge Owens and two other accomplices with criminal trespass and criminal attempt to commit theft by taking.
Police suspect that all three were attempting to steal wheels and tires from the dealership.
Larry Owens, 20, and Heather Smith, 25, of Winder were also arrested for the above offenses and taken to the Barrow County Detention Center.
Justin Whiteside, 26, of South Carolina is also being charged with the above offenses but is still at large at this time, WPD officials said.