What began last month as a search for a stolen lawnmower, led police to a home in the 2000 block of Walker Street Extension and the discovery of about 20 extremely malnourished pit bulls according to Richmond County Sheriff’s Lt. Tony Walden.
They also found Demetrice Antroine McBride, 27, who had served an almost three-year sentence for committing statutory rape in 1999 and was not supposed to be living at the home because of his sex crime conviction.
He has been charged with theft by receiving stolen property in connection with the lawnmower and also faces animal cruelty charges.
“As soon as we got through the gate there were two puppies dead in the yard and the rest were barely hanging on,” Lt. Walden said, describing the scene when investigators arrived at the home with a search warrant. “They were skin and bones.”
Investigators also found numerous lawn mowers, weed eaters and other yard equipment in the suspect’s home.
Lt. Walden said they served the warrant because they believed the items were stolen in a string of burglaries in Augusta's Country Club Hills area, as well as the nearby Harrisburg neighborhood.
Mr. McBride could face additional theft charges as well as charges for violating the sex offender registry, he said.
“We expect additional charges as we check into his sex offender violation,” Lt. Walden said. “That’s not the address he’s supposed to be at.”
The animals were seized by Augusta Animal Services and several were euthanized, he said.