Seventeen burglary and theft cases were solved last week when Bulloch County Sheriff's Office investigators arrested a convicted sex offender, authorities said.
Jamie Lamont Smith, 40, of Sinkhole Road, convicted of statutory rape in 1997, is now behind bars in the Bulloch County Jail on nine counts of first-degree burglary, two counts each of felony theft by taking and criminal attempt at burglary and one count of second-degree burglary, Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson said in a news release issued Friday.
"Over the past month, local builders and mobile home dealerships reported multiple burglaries in which furniture and appliances were stolen," he said. "These burglaries occurred in Bridgewater subdivision, under construction on Josh Deal Road; Langley Pond, under construction on Burkhalter Road, and Jesup Homes, located on (U.S. Highway) 301 South."
Also, investigators linked Smith to "other commercial burglaries of a more conventional nature" reported on the Highway 301 South corridor, Anderson said.
Patrol deputies working with investigators and members of the Statesboro-Bulloch County Crime Suppression Team "saturated these areas and used other investigative methods to prevent further thefts and to locate those responsible for earlier ones," Anderson said.
When evidence led investigators to obtain a search warrant for Smith's residence in the 7000 block of Sinkhole Road, they found "numerous items of stolen property," the sheriff said.
Investigators also searched residences in Cedarwood Acres Mobile Home Park on Old Register Way and homes on Old Stagecoach Road. During these searches, investigators recovered approximately $14,240 worth of stolen property, authorities said.
Smith also was identified as one of two subjects caught on security video at Deloach's Diesel on Highway 301 South, seen committing a theft of metal from that location in May, Anderson said.
"All together, 17 separate burglaries and/or thefts have been cleared by (Smith's) arrest," Anderson said.
The ongoing investigations are led by sheriff's Investigators Dusty Williams and Jason Long, and other arrests are expected, according to the sheriff's office.
"These cases would not have been resolved except for the dedication of Williams and Long, the hours of extra patrol by deputies and CST investigators, and information developed by Officer Jeremy Glisson, assigned by Statesboro police to the CST," Anderson said.
The Crime Suppression Team is a partnership of the Statesboro Police Department, the Bulloch County Sheriff's Office and the Georgia Southern University Police Department.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.