Four Burke County, Ga., men facing theft charges are suspects in a series of crimes, including stealing fuel from farmers and tires from a car dealership.
Burke County sheriff’s Sgt. Dan Lowe said the case began with reports from area farmers of fuel disappearing from their tanks. The investigation led police to Joshua Flynt Campbell, 26, of Sardis, and Gabriel Bailey, 19, of Waynesboro. Police said the two were caught loading stolen scrap metal onto a trailer that had been reported stolen from Jenkins County. Campbell, 26, of Sardis, had a criminal history that included the theft of farm fuel in 2012.
At the time of his arrest, Campbell had a gun and other stolen property, including a four-wheeler, toolbox and several car trailers, Lowe said.
Two additional suspects – Joshua Scott Blackstone, 22, of Waynesboro, and Dylan Miles Sapp, 18, of Sardis – also were charged.
Police have linked the four to the theft of the fuel and the theft of four rear tires from trucks at William Mizell Ford in Waynesboro, Lowe said, but charges have not been filed in either of the cases.
It is undetermined just how much fuel has been stolen. Some farmers did not initially file reports, Lowe said, but have since come forward.
“The case is still ongoing. We’re still talking to folks trying to get more breaks,” Lowe said.
Investigators are also searching for two female suspects whose names were not released.
All suspects have been charged with criminal trespass and misdemeanor theft by taking. Bailey has also been charged with one count of felony theft by receiving.
Campbell has additional charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, two counts of felony theft by receiving and traffic charges from Sardis. Police said Campbell has a criminal record in the past two years that spreads across several counties.
In addition to being caught on video stealing fuel in 2012, Campbell also was charged by Burke County authorities with burglarizing a convenience store and making off with an ATM. He was charged with breaking into an automobile and stealing firearms in Screven County, two counts of felony financial card transaction fraud in Columbia County and 34 charges of financial card transaction fraud in Richmond County.