One of three suspects accused of breaking into 10 cars around Columbus in 2012 pleaded guilty today.
Anthony Marquis Seldon, 23, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of second-degree burglary for breaking into automobiles from Nov. 4 to Dec. 16, 2012. He also admitted to two counts of financial transaction card fraud for using a credit card taken from a car outside the Green Island Hills Country Club to buy gasoline and rent a Red Box movie on April 3, 2013.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Craig said that incident led to Seldon’s arrest, as investigators reviewing recordings from the country club’s parking lot security cameras were got the license plate of the car in which Seldon was traveling, then matched fingerprints from the victim’s car to those found on the Red Box movie Seldon rented, which was still in the car.
Authorities identified Seldon’s accomplices as Tabaris Scoggins, 31, and Matthew Joseph Kyles, 25, who with Seldon were prowling the city committing the opportunistic “smash and grab” car break-ins that often plague Columbus, Craig said.
“Smash and grab” thieves check cars for valuables before using an object to smash a window and grab whatever they can get as fast as they can, to avoid getting caught. In these thefts the suspects took electronics such as GPS navigators, laptops, DVD and CD players, plus CDs, cash and credit cards, Craig said.
Seldon, Scoggins and Kyles have all served time for entering autos, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections' website.
Seldon served five months from 2008-2009 and four months from 2011-2012 for both times entering a vehicle and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.
It appears Seldon and Kyles have known each other for a while. Kyles was charged for the same crimes as Seldon originating from Feb. 5, 2008, according to the DCOR website.
Scoggins spent two and a half years in prison from 2001-2004 after being charged with burglary and using a knife to commit a crime. He was jailed again in 2010 for entering a motor vehicle.
Columbus occasionally has a rash of such break-ins as the same thieves hit multiple vehicles.
Seldon today was sentenced to serve two years in prison and 10 years on probation, with credit for the time he’s already spent in jail. He was arrested July 21, 2013, said his attorney Tim Flournoy. Judge William Rumer also ordered Seldon to pay $12,300 in restitution.
Craig said Scoggins also has pleaded guilty, and he was sentenced to serve 15 months with 10 years’ probation. Kyles’ case still is pending, the prosecutor said.
According to their indictments, the trio is charged in these break-ins:
* Nov. 4, 2012, at 318 10th Ave., a Chevrolet Cavalier.
* Nov. 23-24, 2012, at 8328 Veterans Parkway, a Toyota Tundra.
* Nov. 23-24, 2012, at 8082 Veterans Parkway, a Mazda sedan.
* Nov. 23-24, 2012, address unlisted, a Toyota Sequoia.
* Nov. 26, 2012, at 8328 Veterans Parkway, a Ford F-150 pickup truck.
* Dec. 8, 2012, at 4360 Warm Springs Road, vehicle unlisted.
* Dec. 10, 2012, at 4368 Warm Springs Road, a Chevrolet Avalanche.
* Dec. 10, 2012, at 4368 Warm Springs Road, a Buick Enclave.
* Dec. 16, 2012, at 1900 Manchester Expressway, vehicle unlisted.
* Dec. 16, 2012, at 1900 Manchester Expressway, a Lincoln Towncar.