Rash of ATV thefts being investigated - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Rash of ATV thefts being investigated

Bainbridge- Two Albany men have been caught in a possible string of ATV thefts. And investigators are looking for a third.

     Bainbridge Tractor Company manager Ralph Jones doesn't usually work on Sundays. This weekend was an exception. "It was kind of a bad feeling because we'd never had anything tampered with before," he says.

     The Decatur County Sheriff's Office had busted three men stealing $20,000 dollars worth of ATV's from him. "By the time I drove up I saw the four wheelers gone," says Jones.

     A woman who lives behind the company noticed the break-in and called 911. Investigator Chip Nix says deputies were right around the corner. "When they responded, the deputies were able to detain one suspect and another suspect had fled. Two of the deputies went and tried to catch that suspect, and when they did a third suspect in a vehicle come pulling out from behind the tractor supply place pulling a trailer. They were able to arrest him," says Nix.

     Bainbridge Tractor Company wasn't the only business victimized in these thefts. The trailer used to haul the four-wheelers was stolen from Gleaton Construction, less than a mile down the road. "They went down to Gleaton's Construction and saw where the lock had been cut. One of the suspects actually had the lock in his back pocket," says Nix.

     Deputies say Alexander Wimberly is the one who had the lock in his pocket. He was arrested along with Cody Thomas. Both are awaiting a bond hearing. As for the third suspect: "We later learned he had a suspected nickname of Tae. We hadn't located him yet, he's not in custody. Any leads to his whereabouts and his true identity would be appreciated," says Nix.

     Tae could very well be in Albany. That's where the other two men are from, and where there may be a further connection to these crimes. "Sure enough, they've had several instances where four-wheelers were stolen. And that's also being looked into and investigated," says Nix.

     But until the case is solved, Jones will still be on edge. "Certain things bother me. Last night at home, coming in in the dark, you never know what's going on," he says. The Sheriff's Office may have an idea what's going on though. Investigators say "Tae" apparently left his cell phone in the truck.

     Both of the men arrested have been charged with theft by taking, criminal trespass and possession of burglary tools.

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Posted May 23, at 4:57 pm by stephen.ryan@walb.com

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