Stolen bat­ter­ies

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - DANIELLE EVER­SON de­v­er­son@cov­news.com

Two men were ar­rested in con­nec­tion with the theft of more than $8,000 worth of bat­ter­ies from cell­phone tow­ers in Ox­ford and So­cial Cir­cle.

Two men who claimed to be power com­pany em­ploy­ees were ar­rested Tues­day for re­port­edly steal­ing more than $8,000 worth of bat­ter­ies from cell­phone tow­ers in Ox­ford and So­cial Cir­cle.

A re­port from the New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice said an em­ployee re­ceived an alarm around 1 p.m. alert­ing him that some­one had stolen bat­ter­ies from the T-Mo­bile box in So­cial Cir­cle. The em­ployee re­ported to an NCSO deputy that the tower lost ser­vice around 2 p.m. When the em­ployee re­port­edly re­sponded to the scene around 3:20 p.m., he found the gates open and the boxes empty, so he called 911.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, when a deputy re­sponded to the cell tower on Old So­cial Road, the em­ployee said he’d re­ceived an­other alarm from a cell tower in Ox­ford. An­other de­sputy was then sent to that tower on Ga. High­way 81 North.

Ar­riv­ing at around 3:50 p.m., that deputy found two men — Ron­ald Ja­son Gran­tham, 40, of Jones­boro and James Craw­ford, 39, of Col­lege Park — in a white Dodge truck with a flatbed trailer.

The men re­port­edly told the deputy that they worked with Polaris Power and were chang­ing bat­ter­ies out at the cell tower.

How­ever, af­ter fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion, deputies de­ter­mined Gran­tham and Craw­ford did not work for the site, said Deputy Feli­cia Jef­fer­son.

The two men re­port­edly had a dam­aged bat­tery with them at the Ox­ford lo­ca­tion, Jef­fer­son said, that was matched via se­rial num­bers with a dam­aged bat­tery part left be­hind at the So­cial Cir­cle lo­ca­tion. That in­for­ma­tion re­port­edly gave prob­a­ble cause for the ar­rests of the two men.

Jef­fer­son said ap­prox­i­mately $8,400 worth of bat­ter­ies were stolen from the cell tow­ers. Both men face a list of charges, in­clud­ing sev­eral counts of crim­i­nal tres­pass­ing, theft by tak­ing and crim­i­nal at­tempt to com­mit a theft. Craw­ford was also charged with pos­ses­sion of mar­i­juana less than an ounce.

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