An anonymous tipster saw the Facebook posting about the 2009 attempted burglary of Comcast on East First Avenue and identified the suspect as Christopher Lee Lucas, 38, of 25 Circle Drive, Lindale, said Pete Sailors, a detective with the Rome Police Department.
As detectives began their investigation they found evidence linking Lucas to the October 2011 burglary of the Las Palmas restaurant on Shorter Avenue and the Huddle House on Cartersville Highway last month.
He is also a suspect in a burglary at The Forum, detectives said.
But physical and video evidence revealed the Lucas may not have been committing crimes only in his home county but that he may have been on a crime spree where police suspect he broke into businesses, stole safes and sometimes prescription drugs, netting about $30,000 to $50,000 in cash during a two-year period.
By going from county to county, Lucas was able to elude police.
“He was only sporadically doing something in Rome, so no one knew him,” Sailors said.
“And he wouldn’t have any contact or other reason to be in those places,” said Michelle Sims of the Rome Police Department.
Besides the burglaries in Rome, Lucas is a suspect in a string of burglaries of Dollar Tree stores in Woodstock, Roswell, Alpharetta, Calhoun, Marietta, Union City, Fort Oglethorpe and Fairburn.
One of the Dollar Tree burglaries was featured in a segment on Fox 5 Atlanta while another video from the Carrollton Police Department shows a man matching Lucas’ description.
Other targets include restaurants and pharmacies.
Safes from some of the burglaries have been recovered in Floyd County, Sailors said. One was so far off the roadway at Chulio Road near Mathis Road that the Rome-Floyd Fire Department had to be called in to help police retrieve it.
Woodstock police officers retrieved one of the safes Wednesday afternoon.
Lucas remained at the Floyd County Jail late Thursday night charged with two misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass, four counts of felony burglary, two counts of possession of tools for the commission of a crime, three counts of criminal damage to property in the second degree and theft by taking in connection with the burglaries at Las Palmas and Huddle House and the attempted burglary at Comcast.
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