ATHENS, Ga. --- As Bulldogs fans enjoyed the season's opening game at Sanford Stadium, thieves slipped into eight University of Georgia fraternity houses and two off-campus student homes and made off with thousands of dollars' worth of electronics, Athens-Clarke police said.
And police in university towns in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida suspect the same pair of thieves stole from frat houses while the Crimson Tide, Rebels and Gators played home games, according to police.
The burglars mostly grabbed computers, TVs and other electronics, police said.
One of the alleged thieves, Floyd Russell Hill, has been in jail in Mobile, Ala., since Sept. 9, when a state trooper stopped his car for a seat belt violation, police said.
The 40-year-old Gainesville, Fla., man had drugs in his car, police said, along with Bulldogs football tickets that were stolen from a UGA frat house.
Athens-Clarke police detectives used a LoJack system to track a computer stolen from a UGA frat house to Gainesville, bolstering their case against Mr. Hill, said Capt. Clarence Holeman, the assistant commander of the Criminal Investigations Division.
"That's how we made the connection of him being in Gainesville with the computer," Capt. Holeman said.
People who install LoJack and GPS systems in their computers stand the best chance of getting them back, according to police.
Campus police at the University of Florida in Gainesville told Athens-Clarke investigators that University of Alabama police had identified Mr. Hill as a suspect in gameday burglaries and issued a lookout to other schools in the SEC.
An Athens detective went to Mobile two weeks ago to question Mr. Hill, who admitted that he and another man broke into eight fraternity houses and two other student homes during the Georgia-Georgia Southern game Aug. 30.
Athens-Clarke police have not taken out warrants on Mr. Hill and his alleged accomplice because the investigation continues and might be turned over to the FBI, because the men crossed state lines during their crime spree, police said.
FORT GORDON SOLDIERS ARRESTED IN UGA THEFT
Fort Gordon authorities confirmed on Wednesday that two men arrested this week by University of Georgia police on felony theft by taking are members of the Fort Gordon-based Company D 369 Signal Battalion.
Fort Gordon spokeswoman Marla Jones said Joseph Andrew Zwirn, 20, and Kevin Mitchell Leach, 25, are soldiers at the post, have been in the Army "for less than nine months" and are being trained for communications jobs.
Mr. Zwirn and Mr. Leach are each accused of stealing property from the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house, a case that is unrelated to earlier campus thefts.
In the Pi Kappa Alpha case, the victim called campus police about 4:15 p.m. Sunday to report that two men went into his room and took a laptop, a hard drive, a backpack and a PlayStation 3. Soon after, an Athens-Clarke police officer stopped a car that matched the description of the one the men drove away in.Concerning the soldiers' futures after being jailed, Ms. Jones said "it's up to their commander whether they'll be retained (in the Army)."