Only on 12: 5 arrested in gang break-ins

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News 12 at 6 o'clock , June 22, 2007

AUGUSTA, GA-- More than twenty crimes since March in one Augusta neighborhood and now investigators say it's a new gang at work.

It's happening in the McDuffie Woods Neighborhood and investigators say two burglaries this week helped them arrest at least five people- including two eighth graders.

The new gang is called Mac Time, a group investigators say broke off from Barton Village's O-Dub's.

Now neighbors say they're a nuisance that needs to be dealt with before it's too late.

"I'm packing my pistol, come on. I'm ready for you." Strong words from neighbor Verlin Staab after his next door neighbor's home was broken into Wednesday.

Now, after more than twenty crimes near his home since March, he's not taking any chances. "We'll get them. One way or another, we'll get them."

Richmond County Investigators have already gotten five, three adults: Ahmed Wallace, Torrance Ray-Clark and Marquis Jones. Two more of their gang members were also arrested, both 8th graders at Glenn Hills Middle School.

All five arrested and charged for the part investigators say they played in two burglaries this week. "We've got reason to believe even though we've got them charged in these two that they're involved in more than just these two." says Lt. Tony Walden with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Their gang is called Mac Town and investigators say they were stealing from the McDuffie Woods neighborhood to fill orders, and then selling the stolen items to the buyer for cash. Tuesday at one home on Massoit Drive, a DVD player. Down the road on Wednesday, a Sony PlayStation. But, it was at that home that their luck ran out, after a neighbor saw Wallace and a 13 year old breaking down the back door of the home. The two went inside and that's where deputies caught them red handed.

"If you've got 13 to 18 it does sound like gangs, and that's bad news any way you look at it" says neighbor Joe Wright who lives across the street from where the two were arrested.

It's a house he and his wife have made a home for more than 30 years . "I feel like eventually i'm going to have to leave, it's a shame."

A shame for him and others as well, as the once thriving neighborhood
is now filled with abandoned homes and for sale signs.

Two of the five arrested are brothers and investigators say they worked together on at least one crime so far. Richmond County's Gang Task Force was alerted of the new gang and investigators say the case is ongoing as they work to see if these five are responsible for other crimes in the area.

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