CSO

A trail of snacks led authorities to charge a group of middle school age boys in the break-in of a Hobgood Park concession stand.

According to a Cherokee Sheriff's Office report:

On Saturday morning before 8 a.m., a Cherokee County parks department employee discovered that a concession stand at Hobgood Park had been broken into by forcing open a roll-up door. A concession stand operator told a deputy that among the items taken were: Airheads, Skittles, Blow Pops, Slim Jims, cookies, crackers, chips and other assorted candies.

There were snacks that had been inside the building on the ground outside.

"I noticed the (trail of) candy appeared to be going north, which made me believe that was the direction the suspects left in," a deputy wrote in the incident report.

Maintenance workers in the park reported finding dropped snacks about 40 yards away.

Another deputy reported that he found snacks in the woods near the park maintenance shed.

The first deputy noticed a subdivision just north of where the snacks in the woods were located called Victoria Station and went there.

"At the intersection of Victoria Station and Little River Lane, I located Slim Jim wrappers, Airheads wrappers and sunflower seeds lying on the ground," the deputy wrote. The deputy then canvassed the neighborhood and two witnesses suggested checking a particular house on Little River Lane. 

"I approached ... and located a half-eaten Nutter Butter lying on the sidewalk directly in front of the stairs leading to the front door," the officer wrote. As he approached the door, the deputy saw another snack lying on the front porch.

The woman who lives in the house was not home and told the deputy she would meet him there later. When the deputy came back that afternoon, she told him that she had confronted a group of boys who had been at her house the night before. She told the deputies that the teens, all between 10 and 14 years old, had initially lied to her about taking snacks from concession stand, but that she told them, "the bag of candy is literally in my house."

The deputy told the homeowner he had followed the trail of snacks to her house. "I'm sure you did," she said.

The deputy spoke with eight boys, noting that their stories changed and they gave conflicting statements. In the end, six of the juvenile were charged with commercial burglary and booked by Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice staff the next day and released into the custody of their parents.

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