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Man charged with stealing A/C units from DeKalb County preschool

Charles Wilbanks

The sheriff's office says the theft happened at the Busy Bees Preschool on Highway 75.

Posted: Sep 4, 2019 7:41 PM
Updated: Sep 4, 2019 7:49 PM

A man is in custody for stealing air conditioning units from a Henagar preschool, according to a DeKalb County Sheriff's Office spokesman, Tyler Pruett.

The department says the theft happened around 3 a.m. on August 21 at the Busy Bees Preschool on Highway 75. According to Pruett, the suspect is also thought to be responsible for another theft at DeSoto State Park.

Wendy Wilbanks; Credit: DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office

The sheriff's office says witnesses gave descriptions of a suspect and a vehicle in the area at the time of both thefts. Pruett says investigators then learned a suspect and vehicle matching the description had been pulled over by Sylvania police in the area.

The suspect, Charles Wilbanks of Fort Payne, currently lives near Rome, Georgia and after checking with several scrap yards in the area, Pruett says it was discovered he had recently sold a large amount of air conditioning components.

According to the sheriff's office, shortly after a warrant was obtained for Wilbanks' arrest, a scrap yard notified investigators he had arrived to sell more air conditioning parts. Wilbanks was arrested by Rome police. He is charged with theft of property first-degree.

Wilbanks’ wife, Wendy Wilbanks, was arrested on an outstanding felony warrant in DeKalb County for failure to comply. Right now, the couple is in the Floyd County Jail in Georgia awaiting extradition to the DeKalb County Detention Center.

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