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Theft suspect arrested in Claxton
Ryan Patrick Leonard
Ryan Patrick Leonard

A Claxton man suspected of several local thefts was arrested Thursday by authorities in Evans County, according to a press release from Statesboro Police Captain Jared Akins.

On Thursday, Akins said SPD received information from a citizen in Claxton regarding a wanted person, Ryan Patrick Leonard, 36, of Highway 280 in Claxton.

Leonard had a variety of felony warrants stemming from incidents in Statesboro over the past two months and was also wanted by agencies in Effingham and Liberty Counties.

Officers and deputies with the Claxton Police Department and Evans County Sheriff’s Office were able to locate and arrest Leonard after a foot chase.

 He was then transported back to Statesboro for interviews and booking into the Bulloch County Jail.

Leonard has been linked by detectives to several offenses in Statesboro. In late June, Leonard allegedly shoplifted items from Wal-Mart on two occasions and then fled from officers who confronted him, driving recklessly through the crowded parking lot and later abandoning his vehicle. He is charged with one count of theft by shoplifting/felony, one count of fleeing and attempting to elude/felony, one count of obstruction/misdemeanor and one count of criminal trespass/misdemeanor.

Then on July 23, Leonard allegedly stole a riding lawn mower at night from McKeithen’s Hardware on Independence Way, resulting in a charge of theft by taking/felony.

Then on July 26, Leonard returned to McKeithen’s  at night with the intent to steal other items but was spotted on surveillance cameras by the owner. Officers responded and Leonard fled on foot. His vehicle and a trailer stolen from Rincon were recovered at the scene. He is charged with one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony theft, one count of theft by receiving stolen property/felony, one count of loitering and prowling/misdemeanor, one count of criminal trespass/misdemeanor and one count of obstruction/misdemeanor.

Finally, on July 27, Leonard entered the premises of Statesboro Golf Carts on Bernard Lane at night and removed two golf carts and several batteries. One golf cart was later recovered by officers hidden in an adjacent wooded area. In this case, Leonard is charged with one count of theft by taking/felony.

 Leonard remains at the Bulloch County Jail pending further judicial action. Information on any of the above listed cases should be referred to the named officers or sent via tips@statesboroga.gov.

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