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Sheriff: Suspects linked to 50 local burglaries

Four men charged; stolen loot recovered

POSTED: November 14, 2007 5:05 a.m.

BY ASHLEY FIELDING

afielding@gainesvilletimes.com

GAINESVILLE — The fun is done for four accused burglars, the Hall County Sheriff’s Department said Friday.

Jon Howard Irving II, 25, Jonathan Levi Hunt, 18, Kyrie Alexis White, 21, and Richard Wayne Matthews, 19, have been charged with multiple counts of burglary, concluding an investigation dubbed Operation "Fun is Done" by the Hall County Sheriff’s
Office.

The fun ended when one of the suspects was arrested in White County after a store alarm alerted the local authorities of a burglary, Investigator Carlton Speed said.

Irving, Hunt and White are from Gainesville. Matthews is from Flowery Branch. All lived at 3692 Lakeview Drive in Gainesville at the time of the arrests.

At least 50 burglaries that happened at local residences, businesses, churches and boat docks between August and late October were solved with the arrests, Hall County Sheriff Steve Cronic said.

The sheriff’s department recovered $15,000 to $20,000 in stolen property with the arrests — including money, chain saws, hot water heaters, electrical wiring, televisions, computer equipment, security cameras, a Jon boat and weed trimmers — but Cronic said he expects to recover more. Most of the stolen property was found in the Lakeview Drive home, but some was found in a small cave in the woods off Cagle Road, less than a mile from the home.

So far, the four have been charged with a total of 85 counts of burglary, 41 counts of criminal trespass with damage, eight counts of criminal attempt to commit a burglary, six felony counts of theft by receiving stolen property, three misdemeanor counts of theft by receiving stolen property and one count of theft by taking.

Speed said the accused would commit the crimes when one of the suspects took his girlfriend to work at a local convenience store. However, the accused were not employed, said Woody Tripp, head of the sheriff’s office department of criminal investigations. Tripp said the suspects were using the money from the burglaries to pay the $1,000 monthly rent on their three-story house.

"They did not have a job, this was their job," Tripp said.

"Rarely do you see a burglary suspect that that’s the only one they’ve done," Cronic said.

Some 30 more counts of burglary are still pending.

"We do anticipate there will be additional counts that will be added as we move forward," Cronic said.

The Hall County Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Investigation Division dubbed their investigation Operation "Fun is Done" after learning the suspects’ alleged reason for the crimes.

"In this case, the individuals involved’s comments were that they did this for the fun of it," Cronic said.

Cronic said anyone who has had a boat dock burglarized, had wiring from the boat dock stolen or had a Jon boat stolen and has not reported it should contact the Hall County Criminal Investigation Division at 770-531-6879.

Cronic also offered amnesty to anyone who has purchased property from any of the arrested suspects. Those who have purchased any of the stolen property can return it without fear of prosecution to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division.



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