MACON, Ga. — A grand jury voted to indict five people that prosecutors say are responsible for a Macon burglary spree spanning December of 2019 to April of this year.
District Attorney David Cooke says they were all part of a burglary ring, responsible for nearly 60 break-ins.
A comic book store off Columbus Road, Fanboy Collectibles and Comic, is just one of 49 businesses the alleged burglary ring broke into.
Monique Huffman, co-owner of the store, says two people, fully masked, broke into the business in late February on a Sunday morning. That day her son was opening up the store.
"He found our front door had been popped open," Huffman said.
Huffman says they took cash and the cash register, but they also took some of the most valuable items in the store -- graded comic books. Huffman estimates they took around 20 of those comic books, valued between $3,000 and $4,000 all together, she says.
Video surveillance captured the break in beginning to end. Huffman says it was obvious the thieves had scouted out the store before.
"They knew exactly what they were going to do. It was a very clear division of labor. There was not a lot of talking. No hesitation," Huffman said. "This was an organized, experienced group, as much as I hate to say that, of professional thieves."
But it wasn't until months later that Huffman learned her store was one of 49 businesses hit by a burglary ring of 5 people. According to the indictment, the crew went on a burglary spree between December 2019 and April of this year, hitting restaurants, gas stations, retail shops, a car wash and a doctor's office.
The businesses are located throughout the city, and some businesses they hit more than once. Sheriff David Davis says there was little connection between the break-ins except that, in most cases, the suspects went for the safes in the businesses.
As soon as the alleged ring were arrested this spring, Davis says commercial burglaries dropped by roughly 30 percent.
"It shows that just a small group of people can do a lot of criminal activity," Davis said.
The five were indicted by a grand jury on Tuesday. Charges include burglary, theft, and violation RICO, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
"This is the kind of organization that needs to be shut down. So I'm happy they're going through with it and charging them this way," Huffman said.
Sheriff David Davis says they were able to retrieve some of the items stolen. He says as soon as the cases make it through court, they'll work to return the items back to business owners.