Vidalia Police Capture Six Suspects in Theft Ring
The Vidalia Police Department (VPD) Investigative Services, assisted by the Toombs County Sheriff’s Office, Lyons Police Department, Georgia Department of Corrections, and Georgia Bureau of Investigations – Southeastern Regional Drug Enforcement Office, brought six suspects into custody in the early morning hours of Friday, January 20.
Police executed a search warrant at Raymonia Apartments, located at 1208 Easter Drive, and arrested six individuals, ranging in age from 16 to 52. These arrests come after a series of automobile break-ins and thefts that began on Tuesday, January 17.
Anna Beth Sharpton reached out to the community on January 18 for help in locating her vehicle after it was stolen from her family’s residence sometime between the night of January 17 or early morning of January 18. “The car was parked at my house around 9:30 p.m. on [January] 17. We woke up around 5 a.m.
continued from page
on [January] 18 because my dad was going to work. He walked outside and the car was gone,” she said. “We had no idea who took it, where it was, or anything.”
She spent her day riding around the area, searching for the vehicle, but never had any luck until she received a call from the VPD at around 3 p.m. January 18 that officers had located the car in a wooded area in the city. “[The thieves] took my car and jumped a fence, done donuts in it, and had drugs all in it,” she explained. “They messed up the bottom of the car, broke my mirror off, scratched the vehicle up, and stole everything valuable in it they could. They had used my car to go break into several more vehicles, and absolutely ruined it.”
Sharpton’s car was towed by a local wrecker service and has since been deemed a total loss by her insurance company. “Honestly, this whole thing has made me very upset – I have cried so much. I worked so hard for all my stuff that was in there, and I paid for the car for it just to be ruined by someone who had no business doing that,” she said.
The arrests provided a sense of justice for Sharpton, as law enforcement worked quickly to get the suspects, who were responsible for entering 28 autos and stealing 4 vehicles, off the streets. These individuals now face multiple charges related to motor vehicle thefts, entering an automobile, and burglaries. Some suspects also face drug charges, as a large quantity of marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, crack cocaine, powder cocaine, and prescription pills were seized during the execution of the warrants. During the capture, police also found 5 firearms and several stolen items.
The 16 year-old juvenile (whose identity is protected by law) faces the most charges of the group, including 1 count of Entering an Automobile, 1 count of Theft by Taking (motor vehicle), 1 count of Felony Theft by Taking, and 1 count of Possession with Intent to Distribute.
Also charged were: Michael Angelo Mikel, 32, of Vidalia, 1 count of Aggravated Assault, 1 count of Possession with Intent to Distribute, and 1 count of Felony Theft by Receiving.
Taleeve Gena Bush, 40, of Vidalia, felony warrant for probation violation and 2 counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance.
Rendell Dwayne Williams, 52, of Ailey, 2 counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance.
Jaheim Nolan Murff, 21, of Mount Vernon, 1 count of Entering an Automobile and 1 count of Theft By Receiving Stolen Property.
Dovanni Small, 17, of Vidalia, 1 count of Possession with Intent to Distribute.
And, James Early, 17, of Vidalia, 1 count of Possession of Marijuana (less than an ounce). VPD thanks the assisting agencies, as well as Toombs-Montgomery EMS, which stood by during the operation in case an officer or citizen needed medical attention. The Department asks that citizens who have any information on criminal activity in the city to contact the Investigative Services Division at (912) 537-4123, or Crimestoppers at (912) 386-4480.