Butts County bait car helps bust alleged theft ring

Image 1 of 20

A joint effort by the sheriff's offices in Butts and Lamar counties ended a month’s long theft ring responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in stolen goods.

Investigators set out bait cars in hopes the thieves would take them, and Friday night, a bait car was taken to a warehouse in Orchard Hill. Deputies tracked the car and followed it to find a warehouse with dozens of stolen vehicles, trailers, and tools.

Two people have been arrested in connection with the thefts. Officers said Joseph Timothy Bradley and Robert Mitchell Jr. will face several charges possibly including theft and racketeering. A woman is also being questioned by deputies at this time. Law enforcement officials said more people may be involved.

The group robbed Buckner's family restaurant, a funeral home, a lawn care company, and several other locations. Nearly a dozen trailer, vehicles, and other large vehicles were taken.

Anyone who thinks they have purchased items from the group won’t be in trouble, investigators said, as long as they come forward. The Butts County Sheriff's Office can be reached at 770-775-8216 and the Lamar County Sheriff's Office can be reached at 770-358-5159.