Social media and home security cameras helped capture three teens wanted in home invasion

Tuesday, May 28, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

This video captured on security camera may have been the key to capturing the three teens wanted for the crime. (Source: WRDW)

GROVETOWN, GA (WRDW/WAGT) – Social media played a role in putting three teenage home invasion suspects behind bars.

Surveillance video allegedly shows the three teens, identified as a 15-year-old minor, 17-year-old Joseph Vaughner, and 17-year-old Tavarsea Steed, breaking into a Grovetown home and shooting a 19-year-old inside.

All three are charged with aggravated assault, home invasion, and armed robbery.

But it’s the surveillance video that’s been the key in this case. It’s made people like Virginia Smith feel safer. Smith’s camera is a doorbell camera.

“It shows part of the driveway and the entire sidewalk and you can see on your cell phone who is coming to the door,” Smith said.

She says it gives her a level of comfort, especially after what happened across the street.

"We were driving up the street and there were cop cars all over the place and there was a detective standing in our driveway,” Smith said.

Video surveillance from her neighbor's home shows the incident unfold and also shows the trio of suspects driving off in a blue sedan.

"In this case, the home security cameras captured the three individuals coming through and from that, coupled with witness accounts and victims information that he passed along, we were able to make that first ID on the 15-year-old,” Grovetown Department of Public Safety investigator Samuel Long said.

Long says the search was extensive. Tips and the help of multiple law enforcement agencies put the three suspects behind bars.

"Everybody that called in information regarding who these individuals were, who they associated with, it has made a huge difference in the speed in which we've been able to close this case,” Long said.

But for Long, this is far from over.

"Why did this happen? Why was this subject involved? Why did these three teenagers feel that they could enter a house armed and confront somebody at gunpoint to try and take their items?" Long asked.

Long says there’s a good chance the three suspects could face more charges.

As for the victim, investigators say he is still in the hospital.

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