Police say DNA on Braves hat links man to burglary

SNELLVILLE — DNA on an Atlanta Braves baseball cap left at the scene of a year-old pawn shop burglary has implicated an Atlanta man who’s already in jail on similar charges, police said this week.

Michael Willie Young, 44, is charged with burglary in the elaborate break-in at a Pawn Mart on U.S. Highway 78 in Snellville.

Investigators allege that Young used a gas-powered tool to cut a hole in a fence surrounding the property sometime after 2 a.m. on Feb. 27 last year.

Young allegedly snipped phone lines and penetrated a cinder-block wall of the business, then attempted to cut into a safe where jewelry and valuables are stored but got no further than the outer casing, according to a police report. No items were reported stolen, but damages to the business were tallied at about $2,000.

Near the safe the burglar left behind a crow bar, sledgehammer, water bottles, a gallon of gasoline and the Braves hat. Police at the scene didn’t discount the chance that more than one thief had entered.

An investigator secured a warrant for Young on May 31, when the Georgia Bureau of Investigations confirmed that DNA extracted from the hat matched Young, according to his arrest warrant.

Young was found at the Forsyth County Jail, where he’s incarcerated on similar charges, police said.