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Covington Officer spots burglary in progress; suspects caught at recycling center

COVINGTON -- An alert Covington Police Department officer passed a suspicious truck leaving Minix and Son Tires at 9184 Old Atlanta Highway before daylight Friday, but before he could turn around, the truck was nowhere to be found.

According to the CPD incident report, the officer said the truck appeared to be loaded with 10 to 12 large tire rims valued at $65 each. When he got back to the location, he discovered the lock had been cut off the gate and asked for backup to help locate the truck, but it was not found.

Once the owner arrived at the business, he filed a theft report and the officer stated, " ... I went to the recycling centers on Washington Street and made them aware of the theft."

Around 3:30 that afternoon, an employee with Oconee Metal Recycling called 911 dispatch to report that someone was at his business attempting to sell the wheels.

"I arrived at OMR to find a white male (Joey Jones) attempting to unload the wheels from the bed of a small black pickup," the driver states. "The driver, Crystal Wheeless, was sitting in the truck. She had given her ID to the worker at the lot to sell the items on the truck."

The report states the items being sold included 11 wheels, two manhole covers and rebar. Also, inside the truck the officer discovered two pairs of cutters, pliers, a screw driver and an electric drill.

The owner of the tire shop came to OMR and identified the wheels as being the ones that had been stolen that morning.

Jones, 33, of 9162 Nelson Drive, and Wheeless, 32, of 501 Saddle Creek Drive, McDonough, were both charged with theft by receiving.

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