Computer store target of smash-and-grab burglary

by Wes Mayer

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The Computer Advantage Apple Specialist store in Ashley Park was broken into over the weekend, and thousands of dollars worth of laptops and tablets were stolen in the smash- and-grab burglary.

“All my staff receive a bonus based on their performance,” said the store’s manager, Chris Krowchuk. “The items stolen were their favorite items to sell — when you don’t have those products, it’s really tough to make that up.”

The two thieves broke into the store on Sunday around 2:54 a.m., Krowchuk said. Each grabbed about five or six iPad tablets, worth $800 to $900 each, and five or six MacBook laptops, worth $1,800-$2,600 each, Krowchuk said. Fortunately, authorities and Krowchuk believe the stolen items can be tracked.

“As soon as they open them and register with Apple, we’ll know where they are,” Krowchuk said.

Sgt. Brent Blankenship with the Newnan Police Department is working the case, said Deputy Police Chief Rodney Riggs. Riggs said detectives do not have any leads other than the surveillance video from inside the store, but they are working on tracking the stolen items.

This is the fourth time the store has been burglarized in the last three years, Krowchuk said. He said they pay a high enough maintenance fee to Ashley Park — the mall should be able to afford an overnight security officer or at least an outdoor surveillance system to catch license plate numbers.

Krowchuk also discovered a Georgia law that worked in the thieves’ favor — the Enhanced Call Verification law. According to AlarmLaws.com, the ECV law was passed in Georgia this May. The law is designed to prevent dispatching police to false alarms, thereby saving time and money. When an alarm sounds, the alarm company must call twice, sometimes two different numbers, before alerting emergency responders.

“So, by the time they actually called police and dispatched them,” Krowchuk said, “over six minutes had gone by. The police were on scene very quickly, and had they been dispatched immediately upon our alarm being triggered, the criminals would have been caught. ... What a stupid law.”



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