WARRENTON, Ga. - After more than a week of being involved in what local and state law enforcement authorities say is an ongoing investigation into the theft of an estimated $500,000 worth of heavy construction equipment, lawmen still have made no arrests.
Toombs Judicial Circuit District Attorney Dennis C. Sanders said he wants to see the two-state investigation, which involves Warren and Glascock counties in Georgia and at least three counties in South Carolina, carried out in a thorough manner.
"We'd rather have a case that's been thoroughly put together," Mr. Sanders said during a telephone interview with The McDuffie Mirror last week. "That's what they're doing in this case."
The investigation, according to copies of two search warrants obtained from Warren County Magistrate Court, reveals that the investigation by deputies with the Warren County Sheriff's Department, Glascock County Sheriff's Department and agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation involves a local businessman.
Search warrants were obtained last Tuesday afternoon by GBI Special Agent David Leonard that allowed lawmen to search the residence and property of Michael Henry "Mickey" English, off the Gibson Highway, as well as his business and property, English Maintenance and Mechanical, Inc., off the Macon Highway. Both the residence and business are located just outside of Warrenton.
No arrests have been made in connection with the case.
"This is the very beginning of what might be a long investigation," according to Gary Nicholson, special agent in-charge of the GBI office in Thomson. "Right now, we still have several agents involved with this investigation and that's about all I can say."
Agent Nicholson said he cannot say at this time if this case might involve a theft ring.
"We simply don't know whether it does or it doesn't at this point," Agent Nicholson said.
Several pieces of construction equipment are known to have been stolen from South Carolina counties. Two of the pieces were recovered in wooded areas of Warren County last week by aviation officers with the Georgia State Patrol post from Thomson and rangers with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division from Thomson.