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West Pickens gun burglars behind bars



A Tunnel Hill couple, arrested in Gordon County, is thought to have been responsible for up to six west Pickens burglaries that came in a rash during late October.

The couple, Daniel Laster, 38, and his wife Lacresha, 24, were arrested in Gordon County and found with jewelry that was identified by one of the victims here. Gordon and Pickens detectives were aware that burglars using the same methods were operating in both counties and were sharing information on the case.

The couple is being charged with one Pickens burglary at this point. But Lt. April Killian said she is fairly certain they are responsible for up to five other burglaries in October that all had a similar “M.O.” The fact that no burglaries of the same type have been reported since their arrest further confirms that they were likely responsible for them all, Killian said.

Lt. Killian, the head of the sheriff’s criminal investigation division, said the suspects, now held in Whitfield County jail on other charges, have not been forthcoming, providing no additional information. She said it is a matter of forensics and working with the evidence to link them to the other crimes.

“It is good to get them behind bars,” Lt. Killian said. “But we didn’t recover any of the guns stolen. They were turning them around [selling them] the same day.”

The investigation on the sales is continuing.

Initial speculation was the west end burglars were likely local. But this was not the case with the pair having no known connection to the area. The houses they chose to hit were “crimes of opportunity,” Killian said. 

The pair operated using a consistent method of spotting houses that were empty in the daylight and kicking in a door or busting a window. She said one common trait in the crimes are the houses were all right on the side of the road, with very short driveways.

Killian said it is possible they watched the homes for someone to leave or knocked to see if anyone would answer before kicking in a door.

Among the evidence tying the Lasters to the scenes is a matching bootprint found on three of the doors that were kicked in.