COVINGTON - Eight Monticello residents, along with one Griffin man, are facing charges of theft by taking and criminal trespass after they were reportedly caught by Newton County authorities stealing scrap metal earlier this week.
Shortly before 9:30 a.m. Monday, Newton County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Charles McMichael responded to a residence on Boy Scout Road after receiving a call about suspicious activity taking place on the property, according to an incident report completed by the deputy.
Upon arriving at the scene, McMichael said he found a gray Dodge pickup parked in a field and the suspects were standing around it. The deputy said what appeared to be long pieces of metal were found inside the truck's bed.
Two other vehicles, a white Ford Aerostar van and a white Ford pickup, were also found on the property.
According to Lt. Bill Watterson, spokesman for the NCSO, a large quantity of scrap metal was being stored on the property, which was unattended.
After speaking with the property owner and conducting interviews with several of the suspects, Watterson said investigators concluded they must have made more than one trip to the property to take metal.
"The amount of scrap metal missing led investigators to believe that they had been down throughout the week," he said.
It is still unknown how the suspects, who are all either related or are friends, discovered the site.
Those arrested from Monticello include: Michael Forrest Cook, 17, of 48 Sandpiper Drive; Gale Wayne Wright, 23, of Killdeer Court; Jason Dewayne Garrison, 30, of 70 Herron Gull Road; Glenda Ann Smith, 36; Cynthia Marie Dunlap, 40; Jeremy McDonald, 18; Michael Tomlin, 19; and Mary Catherine Alexander, 42; all of whom reside at 540 Waxwing Drive.
A Griffin man, Archie Steven Allen, 33, of 1411 Experiment St., was also arrested in connection with the case.
Joel Griffin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.