Citizens' tips and media reports helped Bulloch County Sheriff's investigators locate two men they sought in connection to felony theft by conversion.
Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson said Michael Edward Pye, 41, Windmill Road, Sylvania, turned himself in Tuesday.
"As a result of media coverage ... Pye turned himself in to the Bulloch County Sheriff's Department," he said.
Citizen tips led deputies to apprehend a second man involved in the case.
"Bulloch County Sheriff's Office investigators acted on a tip regarding Pye's co-defendant, Steven Lee Boswell, 28, Burton's Ferry Road, Sylvania, and were able to arrest Boswell without incident at a location in Statesboro," he said.
Boswell and Pye are suspected in the theft of more than $20,000 worth of power construction tools from a man for whom they worked.
Both men were charged with felony theft by conversion. Pye is also charged with felony theft by deception and misdemeanor theft by deception. As the investigation continues, further charges may apply, he said.
Bulloch County Sheriff's deputies responded to Riggs Mill Road Friday, Feb. 4, where a complainant said he discovered a large quantity of power welders, air compressors, grinders, air chisels, air ratchets and other power tools had been stolen over a period of time.
The victim said he found out Boswell and Pye had pawned several of the stolen items at area pawn shops, Anderson said.
"They basically did this over a period of several months," said Inv. Bill Black, who is heading the investigation. "They were even going to Lowes, charging items, and pawning them."
Some pawn shops told investigators the items pawned were new and still in the box, he said.
Anderson said Black "was able to locate and recover a large percentage of the tools" and said pawn shops were fully cooperative with investigators in the matter.
"I would like to thank the citizens who called in with information on this case, and the media outlets for their coverage," Anderson said.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.