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Winder police believe string of burglaries solved with arrest

WINDER - Winder police arrested a man they say is responsible for most of a string of burglaries committed in July and August.

Police arrested Luis Angel Gonzalez, 41, of Bethlehem on Aug. 19 and charged him with three counts of burglary and one count of theft by taking.

He is accused of taking $150 from the Philly Connection at 59 W. May St. on Aug. 3, as well as burglarizing The Tent Shack at 90 E. Candler St. on Aug. 1 and Pawn Mart at 22 S. Broad St. on July 25.

Once all the physical evidence is returned from the crime lab, investigators expect to link Gonzalez to 15 to 18 burglaries, said Winder police Detective Gregg Teatino.

Winder police spokesman Lt. Dennis Dorsey said Thursday investigators believe Gonzalez is connected to the string of burglaries. Investigators were waiting for confirmation from physical evidence before making that determination, said Dorsey.

Winder experienced about two dozen business and home burglaries during the last week of July and the first week of August. As many as three burglaries occurred in a single evening, Dorsey said.

The burglar often worked one section of town, then moved to a different section on another evening. Many of the targets were within walking distance of each other, Teatino said.

"We came in at night and worked undercover to find him," Teatino said. "We put on plain clothes and walked around the city looking for something to happen."

Finally, it was tips from the public and the clarity of the pictures shot by video cameras mounted in businesses that captured Gonzalez, Teatino said. Investigators matched those tips and pictures with physical evidence and located Gonzalez in the Barrow County jail, held on unrelated charges, Teatino said.

An official with the Barrow County jail said Gonzalez is also charged with aggravated assault, interference with a 911 call and criminal trespass."I asked him how many burglaries he committed and he didn't say anything, he just started counting on his fingers," Teatino said.

In some of the burglaries, witnesses reported seeing a young man and woman near the crime scene. Those cases are unrelated to those which Gonzalez is accused, Teatino said.

Gonzalez remains in the Barrow County jail under $37,000 bond.