While investigating a burglary and truck theft Tuesday afternoon, Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested 27 year-old Johnathan Nesmith of Statesboro and 38 year-old Johnny Martin Soles of Metter.
On Tuesday afternoon at approximately 12:45 BCSO deputies responded to a burglary call off Hwy 46 in Register. The female complainant stated that a ‘scruffy white male’ had attempted to enter her home through a locked back door, but had fled on foot before deputies arrived. It was discovered that the pool house and shed had been entered and items removed. A K9 track was attempted, but unsuccessful.
While deputies were still at the residence, BCSO received a call about a stolen truck. The man indicated that his truck, which contained several firearms, had been stolen from a shed on St Paul Church Rd in Register while he was farming.
Soon after the call, deputies spotted the stolen truck at a residence on Grady Saunders Road in Portal. The individual at the home, Johnathan Nesmith, stated that a white male named Jerry had dropped off the truck and left on foot toward the center of Portal. Nesmith was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and arrested.
While deputies were interviewing Nesmith, Cpl Kirk McGlamery of the Crime Suppression Team spotted a white male, matching the description of the burglar and “Jerry”, walking near the Dollar General in Portal. The man fled on foot near Pride Manufacturing.
Cpl Mark Guarino and his K9 partner Gismo located the suspect in the woods. The suspect, later identified as Johnny Martin Soles, refused to surrender. K9 Gismo, trained not only to track but also to apprehend suspects by force if needed, performed a bite on Soles while he repeatedly struck the K9 and deputies trying to take him into custody. Soles was subdued and transported to East Georgia Regional Medical Center for treatment of a minor bite injury.
Soles was then taken to the Bulloch County Jail. His charges include Burglary, Theft by Taking Motor Vehicle, and multiple counts of Theft by Taking Firearm. Further charges are pending. Soles had recently been released from the Candler County Jail on burglary charges from an incident in Metter.
These cases are still under investigation.
Investigators are working to connect Soles to any other incidents which may not have been reported yet. They are also actively seeking anyone else who may have participated in the thefts. Please contact BCSO’s Criminal Investigations Division with any information or submit an anonymous tip to firstname.lastname@example.org.