A man was arrested Wednesday in the theft of two construction trailers and nearly $30,000 worth of saws, nail guns, air compressors and other equipment.
Charles Graham Jr., 50, of Carl Starling Road in Ellabell, was released on parole less than two years ago after serving part of a sentence on similar charges, according to the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office.
Graham is charged with two counts of felony theft by taking after sheriff’s investigators found a stolen utility trailer and loads of construction tools on his property Wednesday, said Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson.
“We recovered one construction trailer loaded down with tens of thousands of dollars worth of tools,” Chief Deputy Jared Akins said during a news conference Thursday at the Bulloch County Jail, standing amid piles of the stolen tools.
Last weekend, sheriff’s deputies responded to calls at Woodbridge subdivision off Josh Deal Road and Wedgefield subdivision, a few miles away on Gold Club Road, for reports of stolen construction trailers and tools.
Further investigation brought Graham to mind, and “investigators assigned to those cases were able to identify” Graham as a suspect, “through various methods,” Akins said. “Graham was incarcerated in 2006 for similar thefts and given a 15-year sentence. However, he paroled out in 2011 after serving five years.”
Akins said Graham’s modus operandi helped name him as a suspect.
Local pilot Brian Kent, flying a helicopter owned by Ellis Wood, helped Bulloch County sheriff’s investigators in scoping out Graham’s home, and after a trailer matching the description of one stolen was seen from the air, deputies secured search warrants, Anderson said.
During the search of Graham’s property, “numerous tools were recovered, along with one trailer,” the sheriff said. The value of the recovered items approached $30,000. Another trailer reported stolen has not yet been recovered.
Saws, lights, nail guns, air compressors, generators, levels, hammers, and other tools crowded the Bulloch County Jail courtroom Thursday as investigators inventoried the lot. Five-gallon buckets of nails and other construction materials were nestled among power tool boxes and nylon tool bags. More construction tools and materials were stacked outside the office.
“There were indications he was pawning some of the property,” Akins said.
Graham is being held without bond. According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, he was released on parole in October 2011 from the Coastal Transition Center following convictions in 2006 for DUI, fleeing and eluding police, second-degree criminal damage to property, theft by taking, simple assault, theft by receiving stolen property and several motor vehicle law violations.
In 2003, he was convicted of theft by receiving stolen property, burglary, theft of motor vehicle or parts, criminal trespass, theft by deception and theft by taking, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.
Graham was incarcerated from Oct. 21, 2003, to January 2006 for those charges, then returned to prison in September 2006, where he remained until he was paroled in 2011. He also served a one-year term from August 1999 to October 2000 on similar charges, the corrections department.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.