Bulloch County Sheriff’s deputies arrested two people Thursday who they say admitted stealing copper from Portal area homes.
A witness reported seeing a suspicious couple, and when sheriff’s deputies responded to the area near Old Dill and Rocky Ford roads, they found Lewis Jason Burke, 34, and Samantha Jean Wilkie, 43, both of Allenwood Drive, in the area, said Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson.
Cpl. Mike Kearney met with Portal Police Chief Jason Sapp before searching the area, and they found Wilkie and Burke behind a rental house. Their truck was hidden in the woods nearby, and Burke “admitted they were there to remove copper wiring from the residences” in the area, he said.
After the two were arrested, a search revealed “several grams of methamphetamine and evidence of its manufacture,” Anderson said.
At this discovery, Bulloch County Drug Suppression Team Inv. Marcus Nesmith was called to the scene, he said.
Further investigation revealed Burke was a suspect in a previous felony theft incident in the Brooklet area, and he was charged with that crime as well, he said.
Burke was jailed on charges of burglary, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, felony theft by taking, and obstruction.
Wilkie was charged with criminal trespass and probation violation.
Both she and Burke were previously arrested in February after deputies found “components of a meth lab” in their home, according to previous reports. The find came after a month-long investigation by the Bulloch County Drug Suppression Team.
At that time, both were charged with manufacturing and distributing meth. Burke was also charged with selling the illegal drug.
The search of the house followed a traffic stop during which investigators found a glass meth pipe and used syringes in Burke’s car.
Anderson said he encourages citizens to “be aware of suspicious persons in your neighborhood” and to call the sheriff’s office at 764-8888 if any suspicious activity is noted.
“Many cases are solved through the quick action of vigilant neighbors,” he said.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.