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Cops: Man stole, pawned computers to buy heroin

Michael Rene Faciane

Michael Rene Faciane

Police believe a Lawrenceville man was feeding his heroin habit by pawning computers he stole from Walmart stores across the county.

Michael Rene Faciane, 34, was arrested Sunday and charged with 10 counts apiece of theft by receiving and theft by deception. He was already in the DeKalb County jail on felony shoplifting charges when a Gwinnett County police detective tied him to a month-long string of suspicious pawn transactions.

According to police reports, a local officer searching a database of local pawn shops noticed that, in 11 different transactions at three different locations, Faciane had sold nine computers and two surround sound systems. All of the items “appeared to be brand new.”

“With the exception of having Faciane’s name on the login screen, no other documents were on the computer,” the report said.

Police soon obtained video of Faciane stealing computers in several of the incidents that occurred at Walmarts in Snellville, Loganville, Stone Mountain and Lawrenceville, reports said. During an interview at the DeKalb County jail — where he was being housed after allegedly being caught attempting to steal a computer from another Walmart — Faciane reportedly admitted to the string of thefts and subsequent pawn shop sales.

He told police he had figured out how to get security devices off the computers and needed the money to feed his $150-a-day drug habit.

“I asked him what was driving him to steal all of these items and he stated heroin,” police said. “Faciane then showed me his forearm which had many needle marks.”

Gwinnett County jail records showed that Faciane was being held in lieu of $48,000 bond.