A 19-year-old man faces numerous felony charges in connection to a number of alleged vehicle break-ins and burglaries within the Toccoa city limits.
Toccoa Police Chief Tim Jarrell said it started when officers were called at about 2:30 a.m. on February 26 in relation to a report of suspicious activity on Curtis Street.
“A resident saw two people breaking into a vehicle and called 911,” said Jarrell. “Officers arrived and made contact with a 19-year-old and a juvenile.”
Jarrell said the officers found 19-year-old Bruce Clement Bratten, Jr. of Morgan Place in Toccoa to be in possession of a concealed weapon. Also, police said a vehicle was broken into nearby.
The chief said that further investigation has connected Bratten, Jr. to numerous vehicle break-ins and some residential burglaries taking place within the city limits between May 2013 and last month.
Police have charged Bratten, Jr. with 2 counts of burglary, 24 counts of Entering an Auto, one count of Identity Fraud, one count of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, 2 counts of Shoplifting, and one count of Carrying a Concealed Weapon.
Jarrell said that police have recovered nearly $10,000 worth of property reported stolen through this investigation.
He has asked for the public’s help in clearing up some of these break-ins.
“We are asking anyone whose vehicle has been broken into within the past six months or so in the city limits of Toccoa to contact our Detective Division. We may possibly be in possession of some of your property that was taken or be able to help you recover some of your property.”
The Toccoa Police Department’s Detective Division can be reached by calling 706-282-3244.
Jarrell also said that most of the break-ins involved unlocked vehicles.
For that reason, the chief offered this advice to area residents.
“We want to remind citizens to lock their vehicles and if they have anything of value in their vehicle, they need to take and remove it or lock it in the trunk,” said Jarrell. “Do not leave it in plain view.”
Jarrell said the investigation is ongoing with additional charges pending.
Bratten, Jr. was in the Stephens County Jail at last report.