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Police: 3 arrested in an attempted apartment burglary
Witness reported the break-in try while it was happening
Gary Dale Joyner

Police made three arrests Thursday after someone saw three teens trying to break into an apartment in the St. James Place complex.

Gary Dale Joyner, 18, of Lanier Drive, was charged with two counts of burglary. Phillip M. Smith, 19, of Lanier Drive, was charged with one count of burglary. And a 14-year-old boy, of Lanier Drive, was charged with three counts of burglary.

At 6 p.m., officers responded to the Lanier Drive complex on the report by a resident of the attempted burglary in progress, according to a Statesboro Police Department report.

The three had fled by the time officers arrived, but the witness gave a clear description of them, Statesboro Public Safety Director Wendell Turner said in a news release issued Friday.

Officer Katrina Marson, the first responding officer, was familiar with people matching the suspects’ descriptions living in the area. She was off-duty when she responded and told the officers where they might be, Turner said.

Officers Patrick Webb and Nick Marson and Bulloch County sheriff’s Deputy Randall Norman found the three in the apartment Katrina Marson indicated and, after further investigation, placed the three under arrest, Turner said.

The case was turned over to Detective Kevin Weatherly, who linked the suspects to two other burglaries, Turner said.

This case is currently under investigation.

Anyone with information concerning this case is asked to contact Detective Kevin Weatherly at the Statesboro Police Department at (912) 764-9911. Anonymous tips may be submitted online at or by sending a text message beginning with “TIPSSPD” to 274637 (CRIMES). All information is strictly confidential.

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