So Rad Slough, the owner of Urban Body Fitness on Ponce in Midtown, took matters into his own hands this week. He bought a shotgun and prepared to camp out in his fitness center to nab the burglar in the act.
Fortunately, police — their headquarters in City Hall East visible from the gym’s parking lot — picked up the criminal first as they camped out on Slough’s roof. Busted early Wednesday: Donald Rayfield, 41.
Here’s a rundown of the crime spree directed at Urban Body, courtesy the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
On June 4, the thief or thieves cut a plexiglass side window and crawled in before taking a computer monitor. According to the incident report, the suspect also tried to get a flat screen TV off the wall, and “ate candy out of an office.”
Two days later, someone broke a window, then took a 32-inch flat screen TV. On June 8, a flat screen TV was taken from the wall by someone who again broke in through a window, according to police.
On June 11, two computer screens were stolen by someone who police determined pushed in an air conditioning unit to gain entry to Urban Body’s yoga/pilates studio, which is in a building adjacent to the fitness center.
Early Tuesday morning, officers responding to an alarm call discovered the rear door to the fitness studio broken out, and two computer monitors missing.
Later Tuesday, a man who lives in the neighborhood told detectives that a homeless man he knew by the name of Ray had admitted breaking into the business and stealing TVs. The witness told investigators that “Ray” had asked him to accompany him in a burglary, but he refused.
Early Wednesday, officers were conducting surveillance when a man, identified as Donald Rayfield, attempted to break out a window of the yoga studio.
Police arrested Rayfield and charged him with criminal attempt (burglary).
Slough credits the police intervention with his persistent calls to them. CBS 46 aired Slough’s story this week, including traveling with him as he purchased the shotgun. How’s that for getting serious about crime?
“It seemed a little odd that every time there wasn’t a police officer in the building, the building kept getting broken into. I think I ruffled a couple of feathers. That and the fact that it was five break-ins in 10 days,” said Slough.
Slough is waiting to hear if police believe Rayfield is responsible for the other break-ins.
“I’m going to be spending the night in the gym and I’ll be here waiting for them. I’ve got my shotgun. I’ll protect myself and my property,” said Slough. “I’ll identify myself, tell them, ‘if you move, I’ll shoot.’”
Watch the CBS 46 video. It’s worth a few minutes of your time.