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Two jailed as deputies break up equipment theft ring

By Walter Geiger Two Barnesville men were arrested last week as investigators with the Lamar County sheriff’s office broke up an alleged lawn equipment theft ring. Arthur Bill (Oscar) Williams, 45, and his nephew, 30-year-old Deonte Terrell Williams, were allegedly behind the theft of a utility trailer and three, highend zero turn radius mowers. The crime spree began with the theft of the trailer from a farm on Gordon Road in mid-April. According to Capt. Todd Pippin of the LCSO, the pair used the trailer and a truck belonging to Deonte Williams to steal an Exmark mower from the city barn near Greenwood Cemetery. ’Oscar Williams cut the fence, got the mower and drove it out the fence onto the trailer,’ Capt. Pippin said. The suspects then repainted the trailer to conceal its origin. ‘They were thinking ‘˜that was easy money’ so they went after other mowers,’ Capt. Pippin added. On May 8, the pair stole a Snapper Pro ZTR mower from a residence on Old Milner Rd. then, one week later, stole another Snapper Pro from a house just up that same road. The four pieces of equipment were worth a total of $14,000. Capt. Pippin said the stolen mowers were sold for a total of $5500 to three private individuals. All of the equipment has been recovered and returned to the rightful owners. Deonte Williams was charged with three counts felony theft by taking and three counts misdemeanor theft by taking. He has been released on bond. Oscar Williams remains in the Lamar jail because the new charges against him violated his probation. He is charged with criminal trespass, three counts felony theft by taking and three counts misdemeanor theft by taking. He came to the attention of investigators after he was arrested for public drunkenness on May 27. He was arrested in October, 2011 for another probation violation, DUI, habitual violator, fleeing and attempting to elude, driving with a suspended license, obstruction, weaving over the roadway, failure to stop for a stop sign, open container violation, no insurance and other traffic offenses. An initial search showed five additional bookings of Williams into the Lamar County jail during the period 1998-2010.

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