5 suspects arrested for 3 robberies in Upson Co.

First Posted: 5:48 am - September 12th, 2015

By Larry Stanford - lstanford@civitasmedia.com

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Five robbery suspects are facing charges in Upson County following investigations by the Upson County Sheriff’s Office’s Investigative Division into three separate burglaries.

According to a press release issued by Upson County Sheriff Dan Kilgore on September 9:

On August 6, a burglary occurred on Jeff Davis Road in Thomaston. Someone entered a shop through a rear window and took a J. C. Higgins 22 caliber revolver, a pair of camouflage binoculars, two bottles of water, several bags of chips, and $13 in change. Total value of the items stolen was $618. During the investigation, Dustin Wayne Pressley, 18, of Meansville, and Austin Tyler Salter, 17, also of Meansville, were arrested and charged with burglary. The handgun and the binoculars were recovered.

On August 28, someone entered a Chevrolet 3500 truck parked on Sunnyside Road in Thomaston and stole two Stihl demolition saws valued at $2,500. During the investigation, Jacob Tyler Cunningham 25, of Thomaston, and Joseph Anthony Perkins, 40, also of Thomaston, were arrested and charged with Entering an Auto. One of the two Stihl demolition saws was recovered.

On January 26, someone entered property on Boyt Road in Thomaston and stole a radiator and a battery from a Mercury Grand Marquis. During the investigation, Aaron Shelby Moncrief, 23, of Thomaston, was arrested and charged with Theft by Taking.

Funeral rage

An Austell man is facing a charge of Pointing a Pistol at Another Person after allegedly pointing a loaded gun at motorcyclist during a funeral procession in Thomaston on September 5.

According to a report by Upson County Sheriff’s Deputy Derric Pearson, he was stopped by a man on a motorcycle who pulled up next to his patrol vehicle between Thomaston Street and West Main Street about 5 p.m. on Sept. 5. The biker told him that a black male driving a black Mercedes SUV had hit his motorcycle and pulled a gun and pointed it at him. Pearson had the motorcyclist pull over to the court house to get out of traffic, then issue a Be On the Look Out (BOLO) on the Mercedes. The biker was able to provide the tag number of the vehicle.

The man said the incident happened between Sanders Street and Jeff Davis Road on Highway 19 South. He said he had pulled out of Patriot Motors and the Mercedes SUV allegedly cut him off and hit the front of his motorcycle, causing damage to the left mirror, cup holder and blinker. He said he moved to the left lane and drove up beside the vehicle to let them know they had hit his bike. He said the driver, a black male, rolled his window down, pulled out a silver pistol and pointed it at him.

Dep. Pearson called the Georgia State Patrol to work the vehicle accident. He also contacted Sgt. Robert Barfield, who was leading a funeral procession to Cedar Grove Cemetery. Sgt. Barfield advised that the vehicle in question was in the funeral procession. Dep. Pearson obtained a written statement from the biker and released him.

The deputy made contact with the driver of the black Mercedes SUV, identified as Joshua Fears, 26, of Austell, at the cemetery. Fears said a motorcycle had pulled out into the middle of their funeral procession and was causing gaps in the procession. Fears said he drove up in front of the biker and cut him off. He allegedly stated he showed the motorcyclist he had a gun in his vehicle.

Dep. Pearson read Fears his Miranda Rights and asked if he would give a statement, and Fears agreed, signing a waiver of his rights and giving a statement. The deputy retrieved the pistol from the center console of the vehicle. It was a silver 9mm pistol. It did not have a round in the chamber, but did have 12 rounds in the magazine. He checked the pistol’s information through GCIC and it came back with no wants nor was it stolen. Pearson advised Fears he was seizing the pistol as evidence.

Dep. Pearson also spoke with several other people in the funeral procession who witnessed the incident. They all said the motorcycle had pulled into the procession and slowed down, causing gaps. Two witnesses alleged the biker threw a Powerade bottle at Fears’ vehicle. They also alleged the biker was riding in and out of the procession and swerving toward vehicles in the procession. The deputy collected witness statements from three people.

He then advised Fears he would be seeking a warrant for Pointing a Pistol at Another Person and would contact him once he obtained the warrant so Fears could turn himself in. Fears was released to continue with the funeral. The investigation is ongoing.

Larry Stanford may be reached at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @LarryStanford7.


By Larry Stanford




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