Four people recently were taken into custody by local authorities in connection with the theft of items belonging to an elected official and two of his relatives, The McDuffie Mirror has learned.
McDuffie County Sheriff's Department Investigator Larry Adaway identified the suspects as:
Cecil Finch, 63;
Cecil Anthony "Tony" Finch, 41;
Tina Carol Roberson, 44; and
William Linn Stewart, 17, of Thomson addresses.
The elder Mr. Finch was charged with one felony count of theft by taking and one misdemeanor count of theft by receiving;
His son, Tony, was charged with one count of felony theft by taking, four felony counts of theft by receiving and one count of Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act for misdemeanor possession of marijuana;
Ms. Roberson was charged with six felony counts of theft by taking and one misdemeanor count of theft by taking; and
Mr. Stewart was charged with two felony counts of theft by taking.
All four were arrested Oct. 22, Investigator Adaway said.
The arrests of the suspects, all of whom were jailed at the McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center, was as the result of a two-week investigation into the theft of various items owned by McDuffie County Commissioner Paul McCorkle, his brother, Sammy McCorkle and another relative, Joshua Stephen McCorkle, Investigator explained.
The items were stolen from property owned by the family off Wrightsboro Road. Some of the items stolen included: a Kawasaki utility vehicle (mule), a 1997 Honda four-wheeler, a 2005 8-foot x 16-foot double-trailer and a Troybilt push lawnmower.
It was reported that after the theft of the items, the driver of a white Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck was seen leaving from the McCorkle property.
Some of the items were located minutes later by a deputy at the residence of Cecil's Lawnmower Repair Shop, located at 1080 Warrenton Highway.
A search warrant later was executed at the residence about 6:40 p.m. that night. Those participating in the execution of that warrant included Investigator Adaway, as well as Deputy Sgt. First Class Mike Hobbs and Deputy Jeff Norton. Also involved was Thomson Police Chief Joseph D. Nelson and Investigator Capt. J. Bridges.
All of the items stolen from the McCorkle family were recovered. Authorities also recovered two stolen campers on the property and a Magic Chef refrigerator -- all owned by Craig Nelson. Those items were reported stolen on Sept. 6 from Whipper Will Hunting Camp on the 3000 block of Ridge Road, Thomson, Investigator Adaway said.
In that case, Tony Finch was charged with two felony counts of theft by receiving, while Ms. Roberson was charged with two felony counts of theft by taking.