Posted: Saturday, June 16th 2012 at 2:18am
Habersham cracks multi-county burglary ring
By Rob Moore
CLARKESVILLE – Alert work by patrol officers is credited by Habersham County Sheriff Joey Terrell with helping investigators crack a multi-county burglary ring, clearing almost three dozen cases already.
Terrell said Friday three people have been arrested so far in connection with the crimes.
When sheriff's deputies responded to a residence where a temporary protective order was in place, “information was given that there were some stolen items there in a trailer out back – a little travel trailer,” Terrell said.
“[Officers] asked for permission to look in the trailer and she opened it up and showed them what was in it,” Terrell said. “There were all kinds of hand tools, drills of various makes and models, saws, other kinds of hand tools. There was also cut padlocks where they had been cut and taken off and, instead of disposing of them, they held on to them.”
But not everything involved was tools.
“There was also quite a bit of tobacco products, brand new boxes that hadn’t been opened yet – cigars, tobacco, different items and brands,” Terrell said. “There was also an old air conditioning unit out there that had been taken apart and all the guts were already gone out of it.”
The theft and burglary ring is widespread, Terrell said.
“It’s going to be a multi-county burglary/theft ring that ranges from Gwinnett County all the way to Towns County – Gwinnett, Hall, White, Habersham, Union, Towns, maybe even Banks County … ,” Terrell said.
“We’re looking at about 20 burglaries that we’re going to be able to clear up that these individuals hit -- Mountain Heating and Air, A & A Electric, Midway Electric, Holland Produce, Blue Ridge Tobacco Products, Higgins Construction several times,” Terrell said. “Some of these were hit multiple times.”
The three people arrested have been cooperative, he said.
“They also told us where they went and scrapped the stuff,” Terrell said. “They sold some at the different scrap yards in our county. We’re going to pull those tickets where they sold that stuff – most of it at one in the south end.”
Terrell said the arrests also will clear cases in other jurisdictions, both cities and counties.
“It’s going to clear up several of them,” Terrell said. “I know there was nine out of White County that they’ve already cleared up, and several others that they’re looking at.”
While Terrell has not provided names of those arrested yet, he did say, “There’s two men and one woman involved in this ring. They’re being very cooperative … even telling us where stuff came from so we can get it back to the owners.”
Terrell said the three individuals are facing felony charges.
“Where they entered buildings, it’s burglary,” he said. “And where they entered locked areas of fences, it’s a theft – theft by taking.”
And charges are continuing to accumulate.
“They’re going to able to clear up several [burglaries and thefts] in the city of Clarkesville,” Terrell said. “And some in Cornelia, I believe. We don’t know how many, but we know there are some they’re looking at clearing up.”
“We’re still collecting charges,” Terrell said. “There will be numerous charges, and if they have a bond each felony charge is $5,000. You’re looking at 20 counts – 20 different burglaries on each one.”
In addition, other counties are beginning to contact Habersham County to place holds on the individuals involved so that once they’re released in Habersham they will be picked up to face charges elsewhere.
“It was good work from our patrol officers who came across this, and then investigators jumped on it and started working it,” Terrell said. “It’s super! It worked out good.”
Watch for more information on this story as it becomes available.
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