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Man charged with stealing metal from cell towers
Second suspect arrested in separate metal thefts
Samuel Adam Wells

A man has been charged with stealing metal and wire from cellular towers in Bulloch County, the sheriff's office announced Friday.

Samuel Adam Wells, 57, of Riggs Circle, was identified as the person selling the metal to local metal recyclers, Sheriff Lynn Anderson said in a news release.

Investigator D. Williams worked with recyclers to find portions of metal and wire that had been stolen from an Alltel cellular tower after the sheriff's office fielded several complaints this week of metal and wire being stolen from cellular towers, Anderson said.

Wells was charged with damaging property of a public service provider, criminal trespass, second-degree criminal damage to property and felony theft by taking. He is being held without bond in the Bulloch County Jail.

In an incident that had no reported connection to the cellular tower metal thefts, several items were reported stolen Thursday from a home on Johnny Brannen Road. The items were found at a local metal recycler, and Claude Wesley Hardy Jr., 28, of Colfax Road West, was identified as the suspect, Anderson said.

On Friday, sheriff's investigators received a tip that Hardy - who the sheriff said already was wanted on parole and probation violations -- was living at a home in the 1300 block of Colfax Road West. Deputies found him there and took him into custody without incident, Anderson said.

Hardy was charged by the sheriff's office with felony theft by taking, second-degree burglary, violating parole and violating probation. He is being held in the Bulloch County Jail without bond.

Hardy also has been charged by Statesboro police with thefts inside the city limits, Anderson said, because of cooperation between sheriff's investigators and Statesboro police detectives.

Jason Wermers may be reached at (912) 489-9431.



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