Two teenagers shoplifted BB guns and then used them to destroy city property, said Statesboro police Maj. Robert Bryan, interim police chief.
Around 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Advanced Patrol Officers Elizabeth Johnson, Larry Futch and Matt Brinson, responding to reports of males with firearms, went to the S&S Greenway walking trail off Gentilly Road and found the teens - a 15-year-old juvenile male and Simeon Jerimah Jackson, 17, of Success Court - near the restrooms, he said.
The officers saw one of the subjects attempting to conceal what appeared to be a firearm and ordered the teens to the ground.
"After several verbal commands from the officers, the subjects complied and were then detained in handcuffs," Bryan said.
Officers located two firearms where the subjects had been when officers arrived on scene. A closer look determined the guns were "very realistic" BB guns, Bryan said.
"Officers found a cracked wall mirror inside the restroom consistent with BB gun damage. Through further investigation it was also determined the subjects shoplifted the BB guns from Wal-Mart," he said.
Both subjects were arrested on charges of interference with government property and shoplifting. The juvenile was released to his guardian as directed by the Department of Juvenile Justice, while Jackson was taken to the Bulloch County Jail, where he awaits further court action, Bryan said.
"This case has been turned over to the Investigations Bureau and is still under investigation. There are currently multiple ongoing investigations into recent BB gun damage at various locations around the city," Bryan said. "This incident does not appear to be related at this time."
Anyone with information concerning this case is asked to contact the Statesboro Police Department at (912) 764-9911.
Anonymous tips may be submitted online at www.tipsoft.com or by sending the text "TIPSSPD" followed by the tip to 274637 (CRIMES). All information is strictly confidential, he said.