A Lumpkin County man is behind bars accused of stealing $25,000 worth of merchandise from several area Walmart stores and other locations across North Georgia.
Oakwood Police Sgt. Todd Templeton told AccessWDUN police started investigating Richard Lee Jackson, 42, when he was caught on camera at the Oakwood Walmart on Mundy Mill Road in late February. The investigation in that case led authorities to incidents at other locations.
"Walmart has an internal network where they share information," Templeton said. "In their communication with one another, they were able to determine he [Jackson] had been to their Dawsonville location a number of times."
Templeton said Jackson apparently was involved in a string of back-to-back thefts.
"All of these thefts happened in about the last month and a half - he was all out doing these thefts," Templeton said.
Templeton said Jackson is believed to be responsible for stealing merchandise from Walmart stores in Gainesville, Dawsonville, Buford, Cleveland, Canton and Cumming.
In addition, when authorities served a warrant on Jackson's residence on Angers Court in Dahlonega on Wednesday, Templeton said investigators recovered merchandise from area Lowes and Home Depot stores, including three John Deere riding lawn mowers and a number of power tools. In addition, authorities found a landscaping trailer that had been stolen from a Hall County residence and a four-wheeler that had been stolen from a residence in Forsyth County.
All told, the thefts encompassed nine different jurisdictions, according to Templeton.
Two other men living at Jackson's residence face charges unrelated to the thefts. Tony Lee Dotson was charged with violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, since investigators found methamphetamine and marijuana at the residence. Edmond Brown was charged with violation of probation.
Jackson remained at the Lumpkin County Jail charged with theft by shoplifting, criminal damage to property and driving on a suspended license.