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Six men arrested in car thefts

Authorities have arrested six men -- all from Augusta -- in connection with the theft of two cars last week in Thomson.

Investigator Lt. Scott Whittle of the Thomson Police Department said police are unsure if the case is linked to a car theft ring in the area.

"I'm waiting on a return phone call from an investigator with the Richmond County Sheriff's Department to find out if these individuals are wanted in Augusta for any crimes," Lt. Whittle said. "I don't want to call this a car theft ring, because I don't know yet."

The six suspects, all of whom are being held in the McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center, are each charged with two counts of theft of a motor vehicle, he said. They still were jailed on Monday, awaiting bonds. The six men were identified as:

Dantonio Keith Bailey, 19, of the 1600 block of Bleakley Street;

Dominique Johnson, 21, of the 1500 block of Maple Street;

Marques Dabrahm Jones, 19, of the 3000 block of Collier Road;

Ryan Allen Brown, 21, of the 1600 block of McCulley Street;

Shermaine Deangelo Wesby, 22, of the 1400 block of Neal Street; and

Herbert Leon Stringer, 21, of the 2100 block of Sheraton Drive.

The suspects are accused of stealing two cars from residences in Thomson during the early morning hours of Friday, May 7, Investigator Whittle said. One of the cars, a 1981 Buick Regal, was stolen from a Mimosa Street residence, while the other car, a 1983 Pontiac Grand Prix, was stolen from a residence on Sills Street.

Thomson Police Officer Matt Massey responded to both theft calls. While talking with a witness, Officer Massey learned that some men were seen pushing the Grand Prix down the street. The witness also provided police with a description of a vehicle that the suspects were seen getting into later.

A lookout of the suspects' vehicle was posted to area law enforcement agencies and about 4 a.m., the 2003 Chevrolet Blazer with the six suspects inside was stopped by Deputy Robert Hoffman of the McDuffie County Sheriff's Department.

All six men were taken into custody without incident where the traffic stop occurred near the intersection of Harrison and White Oak roads, Lt. Whittle said.

Working in cooperation with friends of the victims, police later discovered the whereabouts of the stolen cars, both having been damaged during the thefts. The Regal was found on Sycamore Street, while the Grand Prix was found on Scott Court

"We recovered the cars with the help of the local community and friends of the victims," Lt. Whittle said.

TPD Officer Clay Hammond along with Deputy Bret Bentley also assisted in the case that led to the arrests.

Web posted on Thursday, May 13, 2010

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