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APD moves in backhoe burglar case

Albany Police Department investigates Apartment C at 1401 Mulberry Ave. in connection with the burglary of “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips’ father’s pawnshop in East Albany earlier this week.

Albany Police Department investigates Apartment C at 1401 Mulberry Ave. in connection with the burglary of “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips’ father’s pawnshop in East Albany earlier this week.

ALBANY — Investigators swarmed over a four-unit apartment building at 1401 Mulberry Ave. at 4 p.m. Thursday, entering Apartment C in the search for stolen guns, flat-screen televisions and other items.

Albany Police Department officers took three men and one woman into custody before crime scene technicians who arrived in white vans searched the apartment in the tan stucco building.

“We had information that led us to try and recover some of the stolen goods from the burglary,” said police Lt. Carmelita Preston. “All the suspects are from the Mulberry location. They offered no resistance. Everything went smoothly.”

Officers were searching for the stolen items taken from “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips’ father’s pawnshop at 1703 E. Oglethorpe Blvd. between 8 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. Tuesday.

No information about those in custody or charges was immediately available. At 8:45 p.m. Thursday, Phyllis Banks, police spokeswoman sent a text: “They have several interviews but they assured me someone will be going to jail.”

Before arriving at Mulberry Avenue, the technicians searched Apartment B at 1316 Residence Ave. on search warrants. No information on what, if anything, they found was immediately available.

Residents in the Mulberry Avenue area turned out to watch officers tie yellow crime tape across the apartment’s parking lot. Everyone asked about the residents of Apartment C said they did not know who they were.

The burglars broke into Albany Sporting Goods and Pawn by smashing in the back door and wall with a stolen Water, Gas & Light Commission backhoe that had been parked 1.5 miles away.

A fourth man taken into custody at the scene was said to be the owner of the apartmentsby an official close to the investigation. His identity was not confirmed, but he was reported to be an employee at the Albany Sewer Systems Division.

The backhoe used to smash through the shop’s back wall and door was parked at the 1500 block of Clark Avenue. A thief drove it south on Eugene Lane and turned east on East Broad Avenue. The trail led down Nona Drive and eventually to the back of the pawnshop.

Police responded to an alarm at the pawnshop about 10 p.m. Monday, a police report stated. Officers responding to that alarm found nothing amiss. Officials say that could have been a test run for the burglars.

The burglars took no chances during the real burglary. The telephone, power and alarm wires were cut.

UPDATE (4:30 p.m.)

Four people have been placed in custody, but no charges have been filed in the pawnshop burglary case at this time.

In addition to the warrant executed at 1401 Mulberry Apt. C, a second warrant has been executed at 1316-B Residence Avenue in connection with the same case.


4:15 p.m. Wednesday

ALBANY - Police have executed search warrants in connection with the burglary of a pawnshop owned by "American Idol" Phillip Phillips' father.

The warrant is being executed at 1401 Mulberry Apt. C in Albany.

The burglary occurred sometime between 8 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. Tuesday, when the suspects used a WG&L backhoe and broke down the door of the pawnshop.

This story will be updated as information becomes available.

Comments

rock 1 year, 10 months ago

I really have to ask why this ONE story about just one of the snatch and grabs in the city of Albany has garnerd sooo much media attention????

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 10 months ago

rock, don't you think "snatch and grab" takes on a heightened level of gravity when a back hoe is involved? I do.

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Sally_O 1 year, 10 months ago

Snatch and grab is one thing, but how often is a backhoe involved in a burglary? Although there was that incident where a stolen forklift was used to attempt to steal the ATM machine at that bank Albany Bank & Trust.

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reb_arty1863 1 year, 10 months ago

someone knew how to work that backhoe. It takes more than 10 minutes to llearn to operate one.

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jaybird 1 year, 10 months ago

Sure this story wll get national attention because PP is a national star. What concerns me is the image of our city the scum bags have protrayed.What a way to put a black eye on Albany following the great publicity this clean cut lad gave us.

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KaosinAlbany 1 year, 10 months ago

Took the words right out of my mouth.

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erudite 1 year, 10 months ago

Clean cut image? Country bumpkin maybe. And pawn shop owners? Not usually the upper crust of a population but rather scum bags making money off other people's possessions.

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Nous_Defions 1 year, 10 months ago

How does social status relate to "clean cut"? Pawn shops have their place in commerce, don't they? I think the pawn shops in Hollywood and Las Vegas disprove your theory.

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erudite 1 year, 10 months ago

How do those shows disprove? They are now not only making money off of other people's possessions but doing so for more money b/c people watch other people being bought on TV.

Pawn shops do have a place; where would burglars fence property? Do you watch the shows you mention? To me, and perhaps only to me, the people I have seen and heard in the advertisements are scum bags. You do not have to agree.

Now these brilliant thieves will bring Albany to TV again on World's Dumbest Criminals, which will be rerun ad nauseum; PP will ride off into the Leesburg sunset.

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chinaberry25 1 year, 10 months ago

Good for them! The person who fingered them deserves a reward that he will for sure get.

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FlunkyMonkey 1 year, 10 months ago

I also wonder why this one break in is getting the media attention.I don't think its how it was broken into but to whom it belonged--can't have Phillip Phillips embarrassed by shoddy police work There are more businesses that have been broken into that just this one. Whites Seafood, McCollum Cleaners, EnMark, and those are off the top of my head and countless others.**

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VSU 1 year, 10 months ago

The other break ins the victims were unknown to everybody else, but Mr. Phillips being the father of Phillip Phillips is like having a bullseye hovering over their heads everywhere they go, or name makes the news.

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Clyde 1 year, 10 months ago

I believe the reason the robbers were caught was because of all the hooplah over American Idol someone flapped their jaws bragging about doing it and that info got to someone in Albany with a concious who then reported it with the address and names to the APD detectives. That's the way 99% of the crimes that are "solved", (which are very few) are done here in Albany. It is NOT from investigative skills or ANY efforts made by APD besides answering the phone and writing the crime facts down then being able to follow directions to a local address. My money says APD did not solve this and never would have just like the many many others. The other stores not being important because they are normal working folks did not rate to be bragged on so the word of who did them did not get out to the right person. The truth is in the pudding.

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VSU 1 year, 10 months ago

You may be right, but sadly reward money sort of gives them incentives to report it. Some people would turn in their grandma if money was involved.

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Shinedownfan 1 year, 10 months ago

Yep, I think you are right, Clyde, the Albany cops would have never solved this crime without the tip. No investigative skills whatsoever in that department.

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bigbob 1 year, 10 months ago

I still can't believe they didn't find it for 12 hours. Don't they do building checks in this city or are they scared of the criminals.

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Clyde 1 year, 10 months ago

Well BigBob, it's was very easy to miss you know. The tiny hole was just made with a BACKHOE CREAMING THE BUILDING SEVERAL TIMES! And the neighbors did not report it because businesses all over town use backhoes to bust huge holes in the building during the middle of the night all the time. Come on man! This is Albany. I wouldn't doubt if when the neighbors heard it they ran to grab some of the left over loot after the robbers left. Honestly.

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