Cops: Patrol post raid leaves heister hungry

  • Photo submitted — Hart County Sheriff’s deputies pull David Michael Booker, of Anderson, out of a window at the Georgia State Patrol Post in Lavonia in this photo taken from body cam footage.
    Photo submitted — Hart County Sheriff’s deputies pull David Michael Booker, of Anderson, out of a window at the Georgia State Patrol Post in Lavonia in this photo taken from body cam footage.
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An Anderson man who allegedly burglarized the local state patrol post early last Thursday rummaged through a refrigerator before deputies pulled him out of the same window he threw a rock at to gain entry to the building, authorities say.

David Michael Booker, 33, of Anderson, S.C., was arrested around 5 a.m. Thursday, April 23, after he allegedly broke into Georgia State Patrol Post 52 located at 1529 Knox Bridge Crossing Road, Lavonia, Hart County Sheriff Mike Cleveland said.

Booker allegedly hurled a rock through a window to gain entry to the post, which was occupied by an unarmed state patrol cadet, Cleveland said. The cadet, who is temporarily living at the post, heard the suspect break-in and called 911, GSP Post 52 Commander Tracy Webb said.

Deputies Luke Bennett and Michael Turner found the broken window when they arrived and yelled for the suspect to come out, Cleveland said. The deputies then pulled the man out of the building through the window he allegedly used to enter the post. 

“He walked around it (the post) a time or two before he broke that window,” Cleveland said.

Booker was arrested at the scene and is charged with interfering with government property and first-degree burglary, both of which are felony offenses.

Webb said nothing was taken from the post or damaged other than the broken window, but he said the suspect did rummage through the refrigerator while he was inside.

“I wouldn’t make it a habit, because you never know who may be in there,” Webb said.

While this is the first time he’s heard of someone breaking into Post 52 since he’s been commander, Webb said it’s not the first time he’s seen someone break into a state patrol post. He said several years ago a suspect broke into the state patrol post in Madison.

Cleveland commended the response time of his deputies, considering the post is 13 miles from the sheriff’s office, and said they had the suspect in handcuffs within 20 minutes.

Investigators said Tuesday they found another residence they believe Booker burglarized near the state patrol post and he has been charged with that burglary as well. Booker is accused of breaking into an unoccupied residence on Shoal Creek Church Road on April 22 or 23, Inv. Chris Carroll said. Authorities believe Booker was staying in this residence because there was a functioning heater inside. A pillow is believed to be the only thing taken from that residence. He has also been charged with an additional burglary charge and second-degree criminal damage to property.