Sheriff Stacy Nicholson is pleased to announce that arrests have been made pursuant to a 2-month long joint investigation by Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office Detectives and U.S. Forestry Service Investigators.
SHANE WILLARD PARKER, 34, of Chatsworth, Georgia, has been charged with 36 counts to include multiple Entering Autos, residential Burglaries, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, VGCSA offenses, and Financial Credit Card Fraud.
The investigation began on August 14, 2013, when two vehicles were broken into while parked in the Cohutta Wildlife Management area. Over the next two months, similar incidents occurred both on national forest property as well as other areas of Gilmer County. Detective Mark Patrick worked in conjunction with U.S. Forestry Service Investigators and was able to identify PARKER as the suspect. As the investigation developed, enough evidence was obtained to arrest PARKER and he was taken into custody on Friday, September 27, 2013. Since the time of PARKER’S arrest, Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Forestry Service Investigators, as well as Murray County Sheriff’s Office Investigators have recovered a substantial amount of property that had been stolen during the car break ins as well as related Burglaries committed by PARKER. Items recovered included firearms, car stereos, and tools.
Sheriff Nicholson states “The tireless efforts of my Detectives, along with the valuable assistance of the U.S. Forestry Service and Murray County Sheriff’s Office, has resulted in putting an end to one of the larger theft rings we have seen in Gilmer County in some time.”
It is anticipated that more arrests will be made in the peripheral aspects of this investigation. Due to many of the thefts occurring on U.S. Forestry property and the fact that firearms came into play in some of these thefts, this case is currently being evaluated by an Assistant U.S. Attorney as to whether or not federal charges may be pursued.
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