Investigators seek shirtless suspect
The business day was winding down at the Picnic Cafe & Dessertery Sunday evening when a shirtless suspect walked in through the back door of the business and then walked out with cash and a loaded weapon, according to business owner and city council member Sam Norton.
However, the apparently intoxicated intruder didn’t head straight for the cash register.
“He just kind of started helping himself to our cleaning supplies,” Norton said. “Then he started stealing food and then he saw my office and started stealing cash and a gun.”
The suspect, who was wearing a backpack at the time, was non-confrontational but seemed to be under the influence of something, according to witnesses
He was eventually chased off by a Picnic Cafe waitress, said Norton.
But as he milled about the back of the business he was captured on in-store surveillance for more than 20 minutes.
Lumpkin County Sheriff Stacy Jarrard said his investigators quickly recognized the suspect.
“He has been identified,” he said. “And now we’re actively looking for him.”
Jarrard said the suspect is known to deputies because he was involved in a fight several days earlier and still has a black eye.
The cafe wasn’t his only stop on the square on Sunday.
Norton said the man was spotted throughout the downtown area multiple times as he allegedly shoplifted items from more than one business.
Meanwhile, Norton said he’s been talking to fellow downtown business owners in hopes of keeping everyone on notice.
“He’s wiped out on drugs and he’s toting a pistol,” said Norton. “... Sometimes you need a common cause to rally the people. And the merchants are all peeping through their blinds watching for him.”
Jarrard said anyone with information regarding the suspect is encouraged to call the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office at 706-864-0414.
He added that deputies are currently in the process of tracking down the suspect.