'316 Office Creeper' may be tied to South GA thefts - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

'316 Office Creeper' may be tied to South GA thefts


A thief posing as an air conditioner repairman is on the run after stealing wallets and money from businesses all over Georgia. Officers in metro Atlanta identified him as 54-year-old Antonio Hornsby.

He faces theft charges in numerous counties, but investigators say most recently it appears he's been at work in Tift County. Yesterday, an employee at Moultrie Tech in Tifton says her wallet was stolen from under her desk after a man posing as an AC repairman came through the office to do some work.

An employee at Loves, located less than a mile away, reported her wallet was stolen the day before. Now police are checking to see if their thefts are connected to a statewide crime spree.

Hornsby has been dubbed the "316 Office Creeper." For weeks, Police across Georgia have been investigating similar cases where a man posing as a carpet cleaner, pest control maintenance worker, or AC repairman has been going into businesses and stealing wallets and purses.

"He just came in and said he was with the AC company and needed to look at our equipment and check the air filters and make sure everything was working properly," said Molly Sumner an employee at Moultrie Technical College.

Sumner says yesterday he came into their office. "He was going around feeling air flow, asking individuals how their AC was working, if they needed to do any repairs." Sumner says here were no red flags, he was dressed the part, and acted like he knew exactly what he was doing.

And the bogus repairman got away with an employee's wallet. After doing a little research, employees were shocked.

"We looked at the pictures and there is no doubt it's the same guy," said Dr. Shawn Utley, Vice President of Economic Development.

Right across the road at Love's another wallet was stolen in a similar fashion the day before. Sumner says here were no red flags, he was dressed the part, and acted like he knew exactly what he was doing.

The Tifton Police Department say he's a suspect in a recent theft reported at Tift Health Care. Lt. Lee Dunston says employees reported a man walked in and said he needed to check out the heating unit. An employee later noticed her wallet had been stolen as well. Dunston says the vehicle description employees gave is similar to the vehicle description police in metro Atlanta released.

They believe he is driving a stolen beige 1994 Buick Regal. Officers warn folks to be cautious before letting anyone come inside to do any repair work. Police believe Hornsby is traveling along Interstate 75 on his way to Florida, where he has family.

If you have any information on this suspect contact the Tift County Sheriff's Office at 229-388-6020, or Tifton Police Department.


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