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Police: Home robbery was a setup

LOGANVILLE - Police say a Loganville man acted as puppet master in a home-invasion robbery against his neighbors in August, making him the sixth suspect in the case.

Salvador Tabia, 28, is charged with criminal attempt to commit a felony, burglary and six counts of aggravated assault in the Aug. 6 attack. Tabia lives on the same street, Ryland Avenue, where five gunmen stormed several unsuspecting people about 12:30 a.m.

Tabia allegedly masterminded the robbery against a neighbor he'd squabbled with, recruiting five people - ages 15 to 21 - to handle the dirty work.

"Apparently, there was some sort of bad blood between them over a period of months," said Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. David Schiralli.

The five suspects kicked in the door to the Ryland Avenue residence, armed with a shotgun, rifle and small handgun, and demanded money, police said.

An ensuing struggle between a male victim and one of the suspects ended when the shotgun discharged, and all five suspects ran to a nearby Toyota. The vehicle was spotted by a Snellville police officer a short time later, wherein all three weapons were found, police said.

John Harris, 21, Jeremiah Lanier and Daniel Olbert, both 18, along with the two juveniles are charged with armed robbery.

Schiralli said it wasn't until one of the juveniles testified in court "as to who set up the whole thing" that police had reason to arrest Tabia.

Harris, Olbert and Lanier are being held without bond at the Gwinnett County Jail while the two juveniles remain at the Regional Youth Detention Center.

The victim, William Smith, received minor injuries, including a bloody nose, police said. Four others were in the home at the time of the attack, according to Tabia's arrest warrants.