Roquan Smith’s gear has been mostly been recovered and the former Georgia football star can move on with his life, but there are legal matters still to hash out in the case that was the talk of Athens for the better part of a week.
The “Great Roquan Caper,” which involved the theft and subsequent recovery of electronics and game-worn UGA football collectibles from Smith’s BMW X5, has a new chapter on Friday morning as an alleged perpetrator has been identified by the Athens-Clarke County Police.
Landyn Shane Durham, a 20-year-old white male, was booked on felony charges Thursday night after turning himself in and subsequently released on $22,000 bond on Friday morning, according to Clarke County jail records. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Alexis Stevens reports that Durham is a University of Georgia student and turned himself in on Thursday night. He also was charged for another theft involving property belonging to UGA lacrosse player Austin Eiseman.
As DawgNation’s Chip Towers reported on Wednesday, Athens-Clark police knew they had their suspect identified thanks to fingerprints lifted from Smith’s vehicle that matched the man who we now can presume to be Durham.
Here’s the official statement Officer Epifanio Rodriguez gave Towers on Wednesday after Smith’s belongings were recovered:
“The day we took the report the officer was able to pull fingerprints. Yesterday the detectives were able to identify a suspect. From that identification they were able to execute a search warrant for a resident here in Athens. When they executed that search warrant, a person believed to be the suspect was there. We interviewed him and he admitted to stealing the property. Some of [Smith’s] property was located at that residence, and after talking to the suspect further he told us he had taken the rest of the property, the majority of the UGA jerseys and helmets and all that stuff, to a family member’s house in Summerville.
“We contacted the Summerville Police Department and made them aware of the stolen property possibly inside of that residence. Contact was made with the resident and the jerseys and all that other stuff was located at the residence in Summerville. We don’t believe that Summerville resident was involved or is a suspect in any way. All of the victim’s property outside of the iPad has been returned to him. An arrest has not been made yet. However, warrants for felony entering auto are forthcoming.”
It remains to be seen what the punishment will be for Durham, if convicted, but the legal process appears to be moving as expected in this high-profile case.