By Patrick Yost
Two men and a woman were arrested last Friday after authorities with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia State Patrol surrounded a house on FairPlay Street in Rutledge.
According to Capt. Chris Bish, Investigations Division, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, the men were part of a suspected burglary ring and the woman lived on Fairplay Street and was charged with harboring a fugitive.
Bish said on Thursday, December 1, officers investigating a burglaries and robberies on Rutledge’s Martha Lane and Williams Street noticed a suspicious vehicle parked in the parking lot of the Rutledge Crossing Convenience store. An investigator ran the vehicle’s tag and the driver of the vehicle came back with outstanding arrest warrants out of Newton County.
When the investigator moved in to detain the vehicle, the vehicle left the parking lot “at a high rate of speed” and fled into Walton County, Bish said.
A police chase into Walton County exceeded speeds of 110 mph. The vehicle was lost, however, during the chased a citizen alerted authorities that occupants in the vehicle had tossed a black bag. The bag was recovered and officers found a loaded handgun in the bag. The serial number on the handgun had been filed off,” Bish said.
The suspect vehicle was found abandoned at an IHOP restaurant in Conyers, Bish said.
The following day officers establish surveillance on the Fairplay Street residence of Sarah Elizabeth Smith, 27. After a vehicle stop near the residence yielded suspected stolen items and burglary tools, officers demanded that the occupants of the Smith residence exit the house.
Jacob Cale Wilson, 22, McDonough, exited the house. Wilson is the suspected driver of the vehicle that fled the Rutledge Crossing the day before. Bish said he was arrested without incident and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, criminal use of an article with altered identification mark, fleeing and attempting to elude and entering an auto.
A second man, Samuel John Miller, 20, Covington was arrested in the earlier traffic stop and charged with entering an auto. Smith was charged with obstruction of law enforcement officers. Bish said officers had questioned Smith on Thursday and she had denied knowledge of Miller or Wilson.
Bish said in the vehicle stopped near the FairPlay Street residence officers located a chainsaw that had been reported stolen in a Martha Lane entering auto case and “property we haven’t been able to identify.” He also said officers found an array of burglary tools including a lock picking kit.