Originally created 03/31/03

Teenagers charged in auto break-ins



Richmond County deputies have arrested three teenagers in a rash of car break-ins at automobile repair shops, authorities said.

Stephen Jeffrey Babb, 18, of Barlow Drive, Waynesboro, Ga., and Jason Allan Stickney, 17, of Applejack Terrace, Augusta, were charged with felony theft by taking and two misdemeanor counts each of theft by taking.

A 14-year-old Waynesboro boy was charged as a juvenile with two counts of misdemeanor theft by taking.

Police say the teens were caught at Edwards Paint & Body on Mike Padgett Highway.

"The owner of Edwards lives next door to the business. His dogs started barking, and he looked out and watched them break the window and reach in," said Investigator Jeff Thompson, of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. "He watched the whole thing while he was talking to 911 dispatchers."

All three break-ins occurred early Saturday. The burglars used rocks to shatter the windows of locked cars, police said. They took cell phones, compact discs, stereos and speakers.

The burglars started at Don's Auto & Truck Parts on Doug Barnard Parkway, where they took a CD player out of an unlocked vehicle, Investigator Thompson said.

At Craven Auto Salvage & Truck Salvage on Mike Padgett Highway, they took a cell phone from one car and a set of speakers from another after shattering the glass with a brick, police said.

By the time they got to Edwards Paint & Body Works at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, the 14-year-old was too tired to help, police said, and he fell asleep in the teens' car.

The other two used a rock to shatter a vehicle's rear window and get a car stereo and compact discs worth $800, Investigator Thompson said. By that time, police were on the way.

Reach Greg Rickabaugh at (706) 828-3851 or greg.rickabaugh@augustachronicle.com.