Updated: Jun 6, 2020
By Joe Johnson
A Florida man who was accused of committing nearly 30 felonies in Athens earlier this year recently entered into a plea agreement with the local DA’s office in which he received probation, according to court documents.
An investigation by Athens-Clarke County police in March linked 26-year-old Parrish Antonio Roberts to multiple entering auto cases in which stolen checks were forged and credit cards fraudulently used, according to a police report.
He had several addresses in Florida, including Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale, according to police.
Athens-Clarke County police Detective Nathaniel Franco began working the case three months ago, after a man using a rental car broke into several vehicles.
Roberts and an unknown accomplice allegedly stole purses containing personal checks and credit cards, cashing the checks at banks and using the credit cards throughout Georgia and neighboring states, Franco said.
According to the detective, on March 2, Roberts broke the windows of seven vehicle in a two-hour period at St. Joseph's Catholic School, Ben Burton Park, and Bishop Park.
“He and his associates then proceeded to use the stolen identification documents and financial transaction cards at other locations to commit frauds and forgeries,” Franco said. “Roberts was linked to these crimes via his phone records and the rental vehicle he rented to commit these crimes.”
The detective said Roberts was a known member of the Felony Lane Gang.
According to published reports, the gang originated in Florida a decade ago. Its members target women across the country, stealing purses from vehicles and using stolen IDs and credit cards to commit more crimes, like cashing bogus checks or going on shopping sprees. The men reportedly do the smash-and grab purse thefts, while the women cash the checks, often wearing wigs while sitting in the farthest bank drive-thru lane the “felony lane,” to avoid detection.
After the Athens vehicle break-ins, Roberts committed similar crimes in Alabama where, on April 12, he was booked into the Pike County Jail on a charge of possession of burglary tools.
He was transferred to the Clarke County Jail on March 13.
On Tuesday, the Western Judicial District Attorney Office filed a 28-count accusation charging Roberts with multiple counts of entering an automobile with the intent to commit a felony, financial transaction card theft, and identity theft, according to documents filed in Clarke County Superior Court.
He subsequently entered into an agreement with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to 180 days in jail, with credit given for time already served in custody, and 10 years on probation.