The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has arrested two individuals on charges related to thefts at Wildlife Management Areas from May 2019 to September 2019.
On Wednesday, September 25, 2019, James Arthur Graham, 22 of Lawrenceville, Georgia was arrested in Gwinnett County for theft by receiving stolen property in connection with statewide burglaries of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Management Areas.
On Monday, September 23, 2019, Parker Lewis Dean, 20, of Braselton, Georgia was arrested in Barrow County for theft by receiving stolen property as part of the same investigation.
Both Graham and Dean allegedly participated in the burglary spree together targeting the state’s WMAs.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation Cleveland Office was originally requested to conduct the investigation into burglaries at Stephens County, Dawson County and Lumpkin County WMA’s in June 2019. As the investigation evolved, it was determined that additional burglaries occurred, both before the GBI investigation and during the investigation, in Hart, Putnam, Burke, Greene, McDuffie, Bartow, Marion and Dooly Counties. Additionally, the above suspects are believed to be responsible for a burglary at the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge. The similarities between the burglaries led investigators to believe the same people were responsible for the burglaries identified in the investigation.
Approximately $50,000 worth of equipment was stolen during the burglaries and the majority of the items have been recovered as a result of search warrants done in Gwinnett and Barrow Counties last week.
The GBI Cleveland Office worked jointly with the DNR Law Enforcement Division to conduct this statewide investigation. The GBI Athens, Thompson, and Americus Offices as well as local law enforcement partners were also integral to the investigation.
Graham was arrested and booked at the Gwinnett County Jail and Dean was arrested and booked at the Barrow County Jail. Upon completion of the investigation, the case file will be provided to the Georgia Attorney General’s Office for prosecution. Additional charges for both Graham and Dean are expected.