An investigation into an alleged rape led Gwinnett County Police to a suspect in a string of convenience store burglaries.
Police were called to a Sardis Drive residence on Jan. 27 to investigate a report of a suspicious woman. The woman claimed she had been raped by an acquaintance of hers at the home of Douglas McDaniel, 43. (Click here for related story)
McDaniel had reportedly given the woman and her accused rapist a ride to his home in a white Chrysler Town and Country minivan that matched the description of a vehicle used in several Buford burglaries. McDaniel was not arrested at the time of the rape investigation, but the information about McDaniel and his vehicle was forwarded to detectives who made the arrest the following day.
According to police, 15 burglaries that occurred between August 2012 and January 2013 are believed to be related, including an Oct. 26 burglary of the Country Store in downtown Buford in which $1,500 worth of cigarettes and lottery tickets were stolen. To date, police have pressed charges in four of the cases.
"The method of operation and the items stolen were similar in each case," according to Gwinnett County Police Department public information officer Cpl. Jake Smith.
The investigation into the other cases is ongoing, Smith added.
McDaniel remains jailed without bond on four counts of second-degree burglary and a parole violation.
Over the past few months, several Buford convenience stores and retail establishments have been burglarized. On Jan. 27, the Chevron on Hamilton Mill Road was burglarized. The suspect escaped with 35 cartons of cigarettes with an estimated value of $1,600.
In October, . In December, two Buford smoke shops were burglarized. Mini cigars were stolen at one business, nothing was reported missing from the second smoke shop.
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