Winder Police arrest suspect in auto theft case

By Lawson Smith Anchor/Reporter
Posted 4:00PM on Monday 19th February 2024 ( 3 months ago )
Winder Police arrested an Atlanta man Thursday suspected of stealing five late-model heavy-duty trucks from Akins Ford early this month.
Officers from the department said they were able to identify Xavier Cordel Evans, 28, as a suspect and reached out to Atlanta Police who assisted in locating him on Thursday, during a traffic stop.
Officials with Akins reportedly contacted the department on Feb. 12 after discovering five Ford trucks had been stolen before 7 a.m. that day. The stolen vehicles were estimated to be valued at over $400,000. 
The thefts involved late-model heavy-duty trucks which required specialized technical knowledge and equipment to bypass the vehicles' security systems and reprogram electronic ignition systems, Winder Police Chief Jim Fullington shared in a release. 
“These are not your ordinary car thieves,” Chief Fullington said. “This is an organized group or theft ring with specialized technical knowledge and equipment that targets expensive late-model vehicles that are in high demand for the whole vehicle or their parts.”
A Winder Police Detective worked with a crime analyst and Akins Ford security to produce leads. Following Evan’s arrest on Thursday, the detective traveled to Atlanta Friday and executed a search warrant alongside an Atlanta Police auto theft Detective. During the search, authorities seized several additional items linking Evans to the theft. 
Evans was transported back to Winder and is being held in the Barrow County Detention Center.  While the investigation is ongoing, he has been charged with five felony counts of theft by taking motor vehicle. 
“I am proud of the work by Winder police personnel in this investigation,” Chief Fullington said. “This case is an example of diligent police work and utilizing various intelligence tools to follow the evidence in an investigation. It also shows the significance of having good working relationships and communications with other law enforcement agencies that can help play a part in furthering an investigation.”

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