Thieves hit parked cars at Fayette churches, gyms


New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville was struck again Sunday morning by thieves who shattered the windows of two parked vehicles to get cash and credit cards, sheriff’s officials said.

And Peachtree City had five entering auto cases in five days recently as well, including two at local gyms, which has been a recurring matter, police said.

The good news is that the sheriff’s office has a fairly good video of the female perpetrator in its cases, according to Investigator Josh Shelton. Sheriff’s officials are urging local churchgoers to be vigilant and call 911 to report any suspicious activity just prior to or during church services, which is the time frame the thieves have been targeting.

The thieves first struck both New Hope Baptist Church and Flat Creek Baptist Church on April 17 and May 1, taking purses, credit cards, cellphones, GPS receivers and other items of value.

Immediately after the thefts, the duo use the stolen credit cards, often purchasing athletic shoes, officials said. They have been spotted buying shoes in Fayetteville and East Point.

Both suspects, a black male and black female, are estimated to be approximately six feet tall and in their mid-20s to 30s. They are driving a black compact car, perhaps a Honda Civic or Mitsubishi Eclipse, investigators said.

The male thief has flames tattooed on his right wrist and forearm, and sometimes wears a red Atlanta Braves cap, officials said. The female keeps her hair in a bun and wears athletic shoes, officials said.

Anyone with information relating to these incidents is asked to call Inv. Josh Shelton at 770-716-4777.

In four of Peachtree City’s five entering auto cases, the windows were shattered, police said. One incident was at a local residence, and the other two were in the City Hall area: one at Picnic Park and the other at the Library parking lot.

Items taken from the Peachtree City incidents include purses, wallets, GPS units and the like.

The incidents at the World Gym on Commerce Drive and Ultimate Fitness are noteworthy because the city has had ongoing issues with entering autos at the gyms, police said.

A citizen recovered the purse taken from the Ultimate Fitness case at the intersection of Ga. Highway 74 and Blueberry Hill, police said. Two credit cards were missing along with about $60 in cash and several miscellaneous cards, police said.

The best way to avoid having your car broken into is to either hide all valuables, including electronics, purses and the like … or to bring them inside when you leave your car, police have said.

In some cases, motorists are making things even easier on thieves by leaving their doors unlocked, police have said.