Augusta gospel singer linked to church thefts

DUBLIN, Ga. - Two gospel singers are facing multiple counts of burglary and theft after authorities say the pair played uplifting music for several Middle Georgia churches, then robbed them of some $100,000 worth of speakers, microphones and other musical equipment.

Washington County Sheriff Thomas H. Smith said Tuesday that 28-year-old Deshawn Rico Thomas, of Augusta, and 28-year-old Rico Pionegro Blackshear, from Dublin, have each been charged with nine counts of theft by taking and nine counts of burglary.

Smith says authorities had been investigating a string of nine break-ins at churches across the county over the past several months. He says a tipster told authorities the pair might be linked to the break-ins last week and authorities executing a search warrant found musical equipment in the mens' homes and cars.




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