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Man arrested, accused of crimes at Buford car washes

James Raper

James Raper

BUFORD -- Gwinnett police say they have linked a man arrested on Dec. 31 to multiple crimes affecting several Buford car washes.

According to reports, 48-year-old James Raper, of Buford, was picked up at Excel Auto Wash on Buford Highway just after midnight on New Year's Eve when a patrol officer found him trying to break into vacuum cleaner coin boxes.

Gwinnett police spokesman Officer Brian Kelly said the officer noted that Raper fit the description of a man wanted in several other incidents that had caused thousands of dollars of damage to area car washes.

After detectives interviewed Raper, reports said, and determined that he was involved in "other, similar criminal activity," they charged him with 13 counts of second-degree criminal damage to property, 11 counts of theft by taking and one count of possession of tools for the commission of a crime.

Kelly said the investigation is still ongoing and additional charges may be forthcoming.

Raper is being held at the Gwinnett County Jail without bond.

Kelly said police discovered the theft trend in December through an ongoing analysis of criminal activity.

"The police department is not only dedicated to protecting the individual citizen, but the businesses operating within our communities, as well," Kelly said.