Suwanee police report 9 break-ins at George Pierce Park

SUWANEE -- While Sunday afternoon games went on at George Pierce Park, nine car break-ins occurred.

Suwanee Police Department Capt. Clyde Byers said items stolen were mostly purses and wallets after car windows were broken. Some credit cards and at least one iPod were also taken. Byers said the incidents happened between 3:30 p.m. and 4:17 p.m.

Byers said it's rare to get fingerprints from cars in these situations because "what they touch, they take with them." Interior plastic in cars is also too rough to preserve a finger print.

The only way to catch the criminals now is a witness coming forward, or if the items are turned in to a pawn shop, Byers said.

"When you've got that many vehicles, especially at George Pierce Park, on those back parking lots, there's a lot of noise from the ballgames, you don't hear much back there," Byers said.

Byers called the incidents "crimes of opportunity" meaning the perpetrator looks for what's visible.

"It's amazing what people will leave in plain sight," Byers said.

In one report, Byers said, windows were broken, but nothing was taken.

Byers said this was the first rash of break-ins in the area in at least a couple of years. The last time was also at George Pierce Park, and it warranted a police stakeout for several days, but another incident didn't happen during the stakeout.


suwanee_runner 3 years, 4 months ago

A few years ago, my wife and I parked, in the middle of the day, at George Pierce Park, in the first lot below the soccer fields. Several items were stolen from our car, including my wallet, wife's purse, sunglasses, etc., all which were locked inside the trunk.

Suwanee police checked the car windows for prints and found several VERY clear ones on the driver's side window. The thief had reached both hands inside a small crack we had left and forced the window down several inches, then reached inside and unlocked the door and flipped the trunk release--how s/he managed to force the window down that far without breaking it is astonishing! Anyway, the prints, clear and not at all smudged, were of both palms and several fingers from both hands.

However, that print dusting was apparently for nothing as the police, for some reason unknown to me, did NOT make a copy or take pictures of those prints. Go figure.

Moral of the story: Do NOT leave ANYTHING of value in your car, whether it's in sight or hidden.


kevin 3 years, 4 months ago

I have been posting this for almost a year now and I keep saying it. Gwinnett has is now loaded with rif-raf moving in here to start attacking residents in this county. The police presence has decreased in the past 6 months, just when crime is increasing. Something wrong with the Sheriff here not doing a good job anymore. He has been out the news for a while now if you notcied. Maybe it is time he is interviewed by the GDP.


chasmcjr 3 years, 4 months ago

The sheriff? What does he have to do with patrolling a city park? Nothing! . And this is particular park is within the city of Suwanee so it is the jurisdiction of Suwanee polce, not Gwinnet County. Get your facts straight.


Karl 3 years, 4 months ago

kevin has never been one to let facts slow down his rants!


jjbod1 3 years, 4 months ago

While hearing about all this crime is truly sad. I always have to think to myself, so many residents have fought to keep the Marta train out of Gwinnett out of fear that it would bring this type of element in. My wife being from the inner city of Chicago always laughs and says, the criminals dont come by bus or trains, they come in there own cars. Also, so much for all the signs in that park that say your being watched by hidden cameras.


Cleanupguy 3 years, 4 months ago

I’m sorry, but if you leave food laying around the house you draw bugs – same deal here. If you make yourself a target, “that element” will be attracted to feed. They even look for dangling electrical cords plugged in that are presumed to go to “something” or even suction cup marks on the windshield where a GPS might have been. Both bugs and bandits are dumb but clever. You are correct - I’ve never seen anyone carrying a flat screen (stolen or otherwise) on Marta, so I’m pretty sure that’s not the problem.

In general, our Police do a great job, even being understaffed and underpaid. Perhaps the Tea Party could explain that part.


Jedmom 3 years, 4 months ago

I'm wondering why Cpt. Byers states that this is the first time they have seen this happen in 'years' at GPP? This happened 3 times on Aug 8, 2011 and I was one of the victims. It then happened a couple weeks later to another group of vehicles on one day.

There are security cameras installed at this park, they were 'offline' when the break ins and thefts took place on Aug. 8th....what about the break-ins recently? How about instead of a stakeout we just utilize the cameras we have and maybe add some? There are cops all over Suwanee and this is something that continues to happen each year. It's also something that I dealt with for at least 8 months following the theft b/c they stole my identity and wrote checks in Stockbridge, GA and Roswell...and I didn't even have checks in my purse they used my debit card and my id at my bank!!!

Seems like a pretty easy problem to solve if it is handled properly.


TheJudgeandJury 3 years, 4 months ago

If the camera system is not going to work at George Pierce Park, and it is not deterring Crime, then scrap it. Traditionally these break ins have happened at anytime. All visitors need to be aware of that when they exit their cars in any parking lot at GPP, they need to look and be aware of who is sitting in vans and vehicles that may have criminals shopping for people that are being seen placing their purse and other items in the car. If you see someone and have any doubt, call police. Police need to include how the criminals are breaking in to these cars too. The are using suction cups to force the windows down and they dont use their hands. People need to know that a criminal could be anyone and anyone can look like they are walking to a game, walking the trail, walking back to the basketball court that actualy has some kids playing on it quite often that do have criminal records for breaking in and stealing. Thats not stereotyping at all, thats the truth. But any and all people in that parking lot should be thought of as a possible candidate for being a criminal because that is the only way they can keep getting away with this. Police need to folow up and let people know where these cards and identies are being used, instead of just letting the victims go with, oh well you should not lock things up in your car. These are criminals with mask on and dressed in black. These are men , women and teenagers that just look like they are suppose to be there. There is no one lurking, they hit , they hit quick and leave. How? 10 cars, not one person seen, 30-45 minutes. Here lets walk the trail from the front parking lot with our tote bag with food and drinks, to the soccer field lot, lets walk to the fields but go through the parking lot and scope out which cars to hit. Then get up to the soccer field, call on the cell phone to my two buddies sitting and waiting at the basketball courts and let them know which cars have items in them and what women are gettng out of their cars and placing their purse back in their cars. My two buddies or more leave the basketball parking lot and drive to the soccer lot and park. Individually one by one they go directly to the cars because they know where to go, they were told by their look out who is still stationed on the field to tell them if anyone is returning to the lot. The other look out at the entrance to the parking lot is letting them know if anyone is pulling in. Someone walks form the field, someone pulls into the lot, everyone knows it.

Do not leave anything of any value in your car at George Pierce Park. We have not even covered the kids that live in neighborhoods close by. It is not safe. This has been going on for years. And to date not many have been caught if any at all.


CD 3 years, 4 months ago

The lack of protection in the park is about money. Period. The SPD had a choice to make: protect the citizens from crime or generate revenue with speedtraps, etc. They made their choice. What good is a police department that fails to protect the citizens? I would suggest the Suwanee taxpayers DEMAND protection over revenue enhancement.


HonestIngine 3 years, 4 months ago

The city of Suwanee, needs to give the parks back to the county to maintain.. sounds like a big expense for the taxpayers, especially when there is fear about roberies.


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