MERIWETHER COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - The Meriwether County Sheriff's Office has arrested two suspects believed to be involved in a crime spree spanning seven Georgia counties.
Glenda Deeann Duncan and Billy Lee Owens Jr., both of Senoia, Ga., were arrested within days of each other on June 17 and June 19 respectively.
"This crime spree as we now know encompassed the counties of Fayette, Coweta, Pike, Spaulding, Lamar, Cherokee and Meriwether County, Georgia," stated Meriwether County Sheriff Chuck Smith in a press release. "Information obtained through our investigation revealed that Owens along with cohorts had been stealing property in and around our jurisdiction as well as from the North Georgia Mountains to Florida."
A report was initially filed on June 9, 2014 regarding the theft of two large box trucks and a large amount of tools valued more than $100,000 from Complete Truck Bodies located in Gay, Ga. This incident occurred on or between June 6 and June 9, 2014.
Based on intelligence acquired from surrounding jurisdictions, investigators began concentrating on developing Owens as a suspect. They also obtained descriptive information from numerous citizen witnesses on a female subject along with a vehicle tag number that was observed in the area during the time span of the incident's occurrence.
Investigators were also able to link this vehicle at the scene of a burglary that occurred at Sutherland Farms on Ga. Hwy 85, south of Haralson, Ga.
On June 10, patrol units and investigators located one of the stolen box trucks deep in a wooded area adjacent to the 8100 block of Mt. Carmel Road, Gay, Ga. based on tips. Their units recovered the stolen box truck which had been partially burned and was moderately damaged. They also located the fresh remnants of a meth lab near the recovery scene.
On the same date a burglary was reported in the 8000 block of Mt. Carmel Road, Gay, Ga. in which approximately $7,000 worth of lawn equipment was stolen. Investigation revealed items of evidential value that linked the stolen box truck to the burglary scene.
On June 17, 2014 the other stolen box truck was involved in a pursuit involving the U.S. Marshalls in Cherokee County, Ga. The Marshalls were also tracking Owens regarding numerous offenses for Meriwether County and other surrounding jurisdictions.
According to Sheriff Smith, the U.S. Marshalls were involved in a shooting incident with the box truck regarding the driver hitting an agent with the stolen vehicle. The driver of the stolen box truck wrecked the vehicle in a wooded area shortly after this event and was positively identified as Billy Owens, Jr.
Owens fled the scene on foot; however, the passenger in the vehicle identified as Glenda Duncan was taken into custody. All but two items that had been stolen in the Mt. Carmel Road burglary were recovered in the cargo bay of the stolen box truck.
Meriwether County investigators traveled to Cherokee County and processed the stolen box truck and the recovered stolen property. They also brought Duncan back to the Meriwether County Sheriff's Office Jail, where she is being held on two counts of motor vehicle theft, two counts of burglary, and one count of arson.
On June 19, Owens reportedly stole two additional vehicles in which he was involved in pursuits. He was later captured after wrecking one of these stolen vehicles in Lamar County, Ga. Owens had made his way back down to Lamar County after wrecking the stolen box truck in Cherokee County just two days prior.
Meriwether County sheriffs were able to pick Owens up from the Fayette County Sheriff's Office on June 19 and brought him back to the Meriwether County Sheriff's Office Jail to be processed.
Owens was charged with two counts of motor vehicle theft and one count of burglary, and will be indicted on additional charges against him.
Owens was transferred back to the Fayette County Sheriff's Office Jail in order for him to be picked up by Cherokee County. Owens will then be transferred to the U.S. Marshalls for Federal Charges. They will keep him in their custody as of now.
Owens had recently been released from prison in February 2014. Sheriff Smith tells us they are still tracking down leads related to these offenses and will most likely be able to link him to several more offenses in their jurisdiction.
"I appreciate the work and effort put forth by my personnel in helping bring these cases to a swift conclusion with arrest and the recovery of stolen property," Sheriff Smith stated. "Cpl. Nash, Deputy Holland, and the Patrol Division worked diligently on these cases. I definitely appreciate the witnesses coming forward and providing us with valuable real time information that was of tremendous help. All of the other agencies that have been involved and assisted with a collaborative effort we were able to bring this to a successful conclusion."
Meriwether County Sheriff's officials are asking for the community's continued assistance and support in providing them with information regarding these matters. If you have any additional information regarding this matter or other illegal activities, please call (706) 672-4489. Your identity can remain anonymous.