Smash and Grab Burglars Busted at the Beach
Six Charged in Connection with Dozens of Business Burglaries
Smash and Grab Burglars who terrorized Columbus businesses during April and May are behind bars now.
A police major on vacation in the Gulf noticed a suspect vehicle in Panama City Beach.
That lucky break led to the arrest and clearance of dozens of smash and grab burglaries in Columbus.
21 year old Antonio Dunbar was chilling in Panama City Beach.
Unfortunately for him so was the head of investigations, Police Major JD Hawk.
Dunbar’s vehicle was caught on camera during a smash and grab burglary, one of many the property crimes division was investigating.
“We had a car and we know what kind of car. We knew the tag number of the car and the investigators just kept investigating , following we couldn’t find the car,” Police Major JD Hawk said.
Until he went on vacation and heard Dunbar might be in the area.
“There was some really good work by our investigators and I just happened to be lucky at the right place on vacation,” Major Hawk said.
Major Hawk found the car and the suspect and they say it was a family affair.
Dunbar’s mother Muriel Allen Dunbar was also arrested for 13 of those burglaries and harboring a fugitive.
23 year old Megan Tyra is also charged with hindering the apprehension of a fugitive.
Two juveniles were also arrested including a 14 year old facing 54 charges.
Police are still looking for 22 year old Josey Melvold believed to be in the Columbus area.
“You get lucky sometimes and that’s why we go digging and looking for cameras and systems so we can just get that one piece of evidence that’s gonna tie everything together and when they found that one car it tied everything together,” Major Hawk said.
Police officially closed 28 cases with the arrests but in reality the suspects are tied to nearly 60 business burglaries in a two month span.