LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- UPDATE: Police have the fourth suspect, Jermaine Hornbeak, in custody.
LMPD has arrested four people in connection to dozens of downtown Louisville car break-ins.
Laquisha Beals, Derrica Burnett, Jordan Cotton, and Jermaine Hornbeak were arrested for fraudulent use of a credit card over $10,000. Police said the four suspects worked together in an organized theft ring and are believed to be responsible for 50 to 60 car break-ins in the downtown area. The thefts were reported at Waterfront Park, Slugger Field and NuLu, among other areas.
Major Eric Johnson, the commander of LMPD’s 1st Division, called the case a “significant investigation,” noting that the four suspects were believed to be responsible for as much as one-percent of all crime that has occurred this year in the 1st Division. The division covers Butchertown, Downtown, Phoenix Hill, Portland and the Russell neighborhood.
“As far as the number of damage they have caused, the number of cases they’re involved with – it’s one of the larger [cases] I’ve seen,” Johnson said.
Police released surveillance images in late September of the suspects reportedly using stolen credit cards to buy gift cards at various Louisville-area Kroger locations. The department asked for the public’s help identifying the suspects and within 24 hours they were flooded with tips.
Johnson said the information was vital in cracking the case and detectives hoped a renewed plea for tips would help lead to Hornbeak’s arrest. Hornbeak was arrested overnight on Tuesday.
“I believe that [Hornbeak] is one of the main players that organized this theft ring,” said Det. Nick DeWees, the lead investigator on the case.
Detectives said three different search warrants turned up numerous stolen wallets, purses, credit cards, electronics, firearms, jewelry items and other personal items. Police also found piles upon piles of gift cards.
Officers believe the four suspects fraudulently purchased more than $22,000 worth of gift cards using stolen credit cards.
LMPD expects additional charges to be filed and more victims to come forward. Anyone who has had an item stolen and thinks he or she may recognize it in the photos provided by police, is asked to contact Det. DeWees at the 1st Division, (502) 574-7167.
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