After an investigation that went from Henagar to Rome, Georgia, a man is in custody for stealing air conditioning units from a preschool, according to DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden.
Air conditioning units were reported stolen from Busy Bees Preschool on Alabama Highway 75 at about 3 a.m. Aug. 21, in a incident believed to be connected to another theft from DeSoto State Park.
Charles Ray Ledon Wilbanks, 39, is charged with first-degree theft. His wife, Wendy Wilbanks, 42, was arrested on a felony warrant for failure to comply.
A Henagar police investigator led the probe, with help from the sheriff’s office. Witnesses gave a description of a suspect and a suspect vehicle spotted in the area at the time of the thefts.
Investigators learned Sylvania police stopped a vehicle matching that description, according to a press release from DCSO Public Information Officer Tyler Pruett.
This person of interest lived near Rome, Georgia, and when investigators checked with scrap yards in the area, they learned he’d recently sold a large number of air conditioning components.
DeKalb investigators got a warrant, and a short time later were notified by a scrap yard employee that the man was back, with more air conditioner parts.
Rome police were notified and moved quickly, arresting Wilbanks on the theft warrant. Both Wilbanks and his wife are in the Floyd County Jail, awaiting extradition to DeKalb County.