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Last Smoke Screen suspect surrenders

Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 4:18 PM
Last updated Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012 11:40 AM
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The final Operation Smoke Screen suspect has surrendered to police after nearly 10 months on the lam.

After the undercover operation ended in late February with 77 arrests the first day, investigators released a wanted list for at least 30 more suspects. The list shrank throughout the year, but since July 30 David Anthony Owens had remained the only suspect not accounted for.

Police said that relatives had been uncooperative and that they believed Owens, 20, had left the area.

On Wednesday, Owens was booked into jail, where he is held on a grand jury arrest warrant.

“We’re glad to get the last person in the operation,” Sgt. Jason Vinson said of Owens’ arrest.

For seven months, undercover officers operated Cheap Cigarettes II, a pawnshop that had previously operated illegally on Peach Orchard Road. The suspects are accused of selling stolen items to undercover officers at the store.

The operation recovered 64 guns, 10 cars, numerous televisions and other electronic equipment, riding lawn mowers, yard tools, ATVs and other items.

For more than a month after the operation ended, officers worked to match stolen items to burglary reports to get the property back to its owners. A lack of serial numbers made the process difficult. Investigators said some of the items were from burglaries as far away as Jefferson County.

Many of the suspects have appeared in court.

“We feel like we made a difference,” Vinson said.

Comments (7) Add comment
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just an opinion
2638
Points
just an opinion 12/07/12 - 07:14 pm
7
0
Sheriff Elect Roundtree says no more of these operations

He said it during the debate that I attended. I hope he will re-consider.

Young Fred
17467
Points
Young Fred 12/07/12 - 09:30 pm
4
0
Just an opinion

Did he give any reasons behind his decision?

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 12/07/12 - 09:49 pm
5
0
Well I would certainly like

Well I would certainly like to know why too.

just an opinion
2638
Points
just an opinion 12/07/12 - 10:19 pm
3
0
Yes he did,

He said these operations just "lock up young black men." It was during the well attended Summerville Neighborhood Assoc. debate at the Patridge Inn. I heard him repeat it elsewhere but can't remember where. So Sheriff elect Roundtree, is this accurate? or if not please set the record straight.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 12/07/12 - 11:10 pm
2
0
Locked up whoever was

Locked up whoever was committing the crimes.

KSL
129900
Points
KSL 12/08/12 - 02:04 pm
1
1
That dude has an attitude.

That dude has an attitude. They must have been close to getting him. Hence, the surrender.

JRC2024
8879
Points
JRC2024 12/11/12 - 09:24 am
0
0
So what if these operations

So what if these operations lock up young black men, white men, asian men or anybody that steals your property or sells drugs. Get a big tent and several acres with high fences. We do not need these types of people around us. That goes for women also.

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