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Braselton police bust Chateau Elan area burglary ring

BRASELTON - Braselton police arrested four men Thursday for a series of auto break-ins in a Chateau Elan neighborhood.

A total of 62 warrants were served against Charles Frazier, 18, Suwanee; Thomas Russell, 19, Lawrenceville; Brian Strawn, 18, Lawrenceville and Ryan Wisely, 17, Lawrenceville. The men were charged with burglary, criminal trespass, criminal damage to property, entering an auto, motor vehicle theft, loitering and impeding an investigation.

The investigation began the morning of Dec. 20 when neighborhood residents discovered six cars that had been broken into, as well as an attempted garage entry. Residents reported missing digital cameras, cell phones, credit cards, MP3s and three golf carts. A few days later, a Honda Odyssey minivan was stolen and was later recovered with no damage.

"They (allegedly) went for a joy ride on Chateau Elan's golf course and did some damage," said Detective J. D. Gille. "It was in the middle of the night and no one saw them. They crashed the carts."

The golf carts yielded no fingerprints.

Braselton Police Officer Ronnie Kilburn was patrolling about 2:30 a.m. Dec. 22 when he ran across four men walking around the same neighborhood in the rain.

The men reportedly told Kilburn they lived in the neighborhood and were looking for a party. Kilburn told them to go home, but caught up with them for a more in-depth interview a few minutes later. Kilburn ran their identification, but nothing came up.

Days later, police recovered some discarded credit cards and cell phones belonging to the victims. When the items were returned to their owners, they found that someone had called certain phone numbers from the cells that the owners didn't recognize. One of the numbers came back to one of the men Kilburn had found walking in the rain on Dec. 22.

"One of the boys cooperated with us and gave us so many details about the crimes that we were convinced he was part of the ring," Gille said. "He also had information on some Gwinnett burglaries and we turned that information over to Gwinnett County."

All three except Wisely were being held in the Barrow County jail as of press time.