A young man and his girlfriend recently were arrested on theft charges involving $6,000 in cash being stolen from a safe of the man's parents. Authorities also have arrested a third person in connection with the case.
McDuffie County Sheriff's Department Investigator Larry Adaway identified the suspects as Eric Andrew Mooney, 18, of the 2100 block of Boneville Road, Dearing; and his 18-year-old girlfriend, Jessica Marie Wilson, of the 3600 block of Ellington Airline Road, Dearing.
The suspects, who were arrested on Oct. 4, have been charged with felony theft by taking in connection with the missing money from the home of Andy and Rosemary Mooney, on the 2100 block of Boneville Road, Investigator Adaway said. Mr. Mooney was taken into custody at the McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center, and Miss Wilson was apprehended by Deputy Kalvin Johnson at a residence on the 2100 block of Old Milledgeville Road and taken to the law enforcement center on the same day.
During a first appearance bond hearing before McDuffie County Chief Magistrate William Bryant Swan, Jr. on Oct. 5, bond was set at $8,000 for both Mr. Mooney and Miss Wilson.
The probe into the missing money started after Mrs. Mooney filed a report with Deputy Jeff Norton on Sept. 29.
Mrs. Mooney said she left her three adult children at home and took a trip to Florida. She later called the house and spoke to her daughter, asking her to check the safe. It was learned at that time that someone had compromised the safe's lock and stolen more than half of the money that had been inside, Investigator Adaway said.
The next day, Mrs. Mooney returned home and found that the remaining money in the safe also was missing. She called the sheriff's department, asking for a deputy at that time.
The case later was turned over to Investigator Adaway to probe. His investigation led to an interview with each of the family members and others who were at the residence during the six-day period that Mrs. Mooney was away from home.
On the same day that Mrs. Mooney reported the theft to Deputy Norton, a second son, Jimmy Anthony Kitchen, 21, was arrested and charged with giving a false statement to a law enforcement officer in connection with the theft investigation, Investigator Adaway said.
Mr. Kitchen since has been released from the county jail after posting bail in the amount of $2,050. Investigator Adaway said he has recovered $1,000 of the $6,000 stolen.