Police: Auto business burglars caught in act

DULUTH — Police caught two teenage burglars red-handed after they targeted automotive businesses near Gwinnett Place Mall before dawn Tuesday, officials said.

Their take amounted to some change stolen from the cash register of one business, police said.

Officers patrolling near Mall Boulevard about 5 a.m. traced an alarm to Gemini Automotive Care, when they spotted a green Saturn that fled when police tried to make a traffic stop.

When the vehicle struck a nearby curb and broke down, the driver, Olajuwon Jones, 18, of Decatur, fled on foot but was caught after a short chase, said Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Brian Kelly.

Meanwhile, back-up officers spotted a second suspect, an unidentified juvenile, running from the business and detained him after another brief foot chase, Kelly said.

Police interrupted the pair before they had time to swipe anything — aside from the window they removed to enter the business, said Kelly.

Police were made privy to a second burglary at nearby Precision Tune when employees reported for work and found the cash registered had been forced open and emptied of change, Kelly said.

“Surveillance cameras (at the second scene) caught the same suspects as they removed a window there as well,” he said.

Olajuwon and the 16-year-old juvenile are both charged with two counts of burglary, possession of tools for the commission of a crime and obstruction.

Police charged Olajuwon with additional counts of fleeing and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.