Gun store manager help nab crooks

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A McDonough Gun Range and store manager has come out the winner in an effort to stave off criminals from stealing his weapons.

Twice before, most recently about a month and a half ago, they'd stolen more than one hundred hand guns and rifles worth tens of thousands of dollars from the American Heritage Gun Range and Training Center.

George Mazzant showed FOX 5 News surveillance of the attempted burglary early Tuesday morning.

“And see them running, cause the police flushed them toward their buddies,” said Mazzant.

He said he beefed up security and worked closely with police, patiently watching streaming surveillance video from his iPad at home nightly, waiting for the third time. It came early Tuesday morning.

“I thought I seen the head stick around the corner and they didn't come back around for about two minutes and when they did I jumped straight out of the bed and hollered, scared my poor wife,” said Mazzant.

He said he quickly called police who responded in less than four minutes, sending the crooks running away, straight into the hands of waiting officers.

“When I’m on the phone with them telling them where they were at, they went and set their perimeter up so they wouldn’t get away,” said Mazzant.

McDonough police said while they were closing in on the suspects they found two women, seemingly hiding, lying in the front and back seats of a car in this cu-de-sac on the other side of the business.

“They were trying to hide out acting as a look out, they were basically playing stupid when law enforcement apprehended them," said Major Kyle Helgerson, with the McDonough Police Department.

Helgerson said Bilal Maxey, Prather Abrams, Shana Bennett and Asia Keith, were all arrested. One male suspect got away on foot. He said the arrests put a sizeable dent in what appears to be gang related gun thefts all over the Southeast.

“We feel like we really made an impact on this organization. We feel like we really helped the ATF in their case which is a multi-state operation,” said Helgerson.

He said at least one suspect arrested is believed involved in previous burglaries at the gun store. George Mazzant said the two women arrested had been in a training session at the store Saturday. Now they and the others are behind bars.

“I definitely like to think now that we'll never lose another gun and if any crooks try we're ready for you, It was on high priority list to get these guys and I got them,” said Mazzant.

McDonough Police said one of the suspects had to be transported to the hospital because of his condition. Helgerson said he came intoxicated to the burglary attempt.

Police have also identified the man who got away.

Helgerson said all four who were arrested are behind bars without bond.