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Pair Posing As Contractors Arrested on Burglary, Drug Charges

May 10 incident occurred at a vacant home on Roland Manor Drive in Dacula.

A Palmetto man and a Statesboro woman were taken into custody on May 10 after allegedly breaking into a vacant Dacula home.

Police were called to the Roland Manor Drive home after a neighbor reported seeing two people attempting to force open the front door of the home. After the pair walked to the rear of the home, the neighbor -- an off-duty police officer – retrieved his police identification and personal firearm and walked over to the house to investigate.

According to the Gwinnett County Police incident report, the neighbor discovered the back door had been forced open and the two individuals were inside the house. The neighbor identified himself and asked the pair to wait outside until police arrived.

The female, identified as Heather Farmer, 30, said she and her boyfriend, Paul Hornsby, 41, worked for a bank and a property preservation company. Farmer said she and Hornsby had a work order to be at the location in order to bid on replacing a stolen refrigerator.

Neither Farmer nor Hornsby could produce any documentation authorizing their presence on the property or inside the home. When reached by phone, a man identifying himself as Hornsby’s employer insisted the pair was supposed to be at the house. However, the listed owner of the property said he was not familiar with any work order for the property and did not know either of the suspects. The property owner advised the officer he wanted to press charges.

Hornsby and Farmer were placed under arrest. Due to the fact Hornsby could not have anyone retrieve his vehicle in a timely manner, the officer impounded it. While doing an inventory of the vehicle, the officer located a small bag of green, leafy material, a glass pipe of the type commonly used to smoke marijuana and a clear empty baggie in the center console of the truck. The officer also located a pink Coach purse containing two clear baggies of a clear, crystal material that later field-tested positive for methamphetamine.

When questioned, Hornsby admitted the marijuana was his. Farmer said the purse and all of its contents were hers, but denied ownership of the methamphetamine.

Both suspects were transported to the Gwinnett County Jail. At the jail, a deputy searched Farmer’s purse again and found another baggie of suspected methamphetamine in a small, zipped pocket on the side of the purse.

Hornsby was charged with burglary and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. He was released on May 11 on a $7,000 bond. Farmer was charged with burglary and possession of a controlled substance. She was released from jail on May 11 on an $8,100 bond.

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Kevin Raposo May 15, 2012 at 02:19 PM
This is a classic example of the distraction burglary. I recently wrote an article that explains all the tricks of the "distraction burglary." Distraction Burglaries on the Rise – Protect Yourself With These 5 Tips http://simplisafe.com/blog/distraction-burglaries-rise-protect-yourself-these-5-tips Feel free to share or re-post!
DaculaHood May 15, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Well Kevin, I'm inclined to think you posted this because of the article title (without reading the first paragraph of the article where it clearly states the home was vacant) as an opportunity to plug your company's blog/product. That said I still found your article interesting and agree wholeheartedly (and I'm trying to train my wife/kids) to not open the door in the first place if you're not sure who it is.
Kari Montgomery May 15, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Thank you Kevin for the info!

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