Ga. father and son charged in connection with theft of guns

CONYERS -- The Rockdale County Sheriff's Office has arrested a father and son in connection with the theft of 17 handguns during a break-in at a local pawn shop.

Arrested in connection with the March 12 burglary at Lightning Pawn on Sigman Road were Roger Ezell Smith Jr., 20, of 26 Le Pare Fontaine, Lithonia, and a man identified by the Sheriff's Office as his father, Melvin Lee Jackson Jr., 37, of 2025 Jessica Way, Conyers. Two other suspects are wanted in connection with the incident.

Lt. Michael Camp said Jackson was arrested on March 14 when investigators with the RCSO assisted investigators from another jurisdiction in serving a search warrant at Jackson's residence in connection with another case.

"During that search warrant there were two firearms found, and when they ran the serial numbers, they came back stolen in the pawn shop burglary," said Camp.

Jackson was charged in Rockdale County with two counts of felony theft by receiving stolen property. He was released from jail on $15,000 bond.

Smith was arrested March 14 and charged with burglary. No bond had been set for him as of Wednesday.

Camp said a third handgun taken in the burglary was recovered during a traffic stop in DeKalb County. The driver in that case is not suspected in the burglary, he said.

Camp said three suspects are shown in surveillance video taken during the break-in at the pawn shop. According to the RCSO report, deputies were called to the pawn shop at about 5 a.m. March 12 where they found the front door glass had been shattered and two metal bars pulled back. The gun cabinet inside the store had been broken and most of the guns removed.