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Investigators recover hundreds of stolen items
Investigator Scott Lilly, left, and Lt. Dale Long, of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, sort through stolen property that was seized Wednesday from residences in Dahlonega and Lawrenceville. About $40,000 in property was recovered. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

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Anyone with information about a burglary or theft in Hall County, is asked to contact the Hall County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division tip line at 770-503-3232.

Hall County Sheriff’s Office investigators found hundreds of stolen items when they searched homes in Dahlonega and Lawrenceville on Wednesday.

The items, estimated to be worth around $40,000 in total, include jewelry, musical instruments, electronics, 20 firearms, a telescope and an Elvis doll. They were stolen from several residences in Dawson, Gwinnett, White and Hall counties.

In Gwinnett County, investigators arrested Tony Lamar Hightower, 59, of Lawrenceville, and charged him with seven felony counts of theft by receiving, felony drug possession with intent to distribute, felony possession of a Schedule II drug, possession of marijuana, possession of drug-related objects, and drugs not in original container. He was booked at the Gwinnett County Detention Center.

“A victim in one of the cases was able to provide a partial tag number and car description, which led us to a development of the suspect and search warrant,” said Col. Jeff Strickland with the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.

Hall County investigators helped Lumpkin and White County investigators search a home on Damascus Church Road in Dahlonega and found $20,000 in items. They then helped Gwinnett County officers search a home on Waters Ferry Road in Lawrenceville and found another $20,000 in items, including guns from Chicago and Alabama.

“We were able to check the serial numbers and are in the process of notifying owners,” Strickland said. “We look in our database of reported stolen items and use our incident reports. We also asked investigators from White and Lumpkin to come down and look at the items, and they identified several items.”

The searches solve at least five burglaries in Hall County around 4200 Simpson Road, 4100 Old Cornelia Highway and 3600 Clarks Bridge Road in Gainesville, as well as 6000 Daffodil Drive in Flowery Branch and 5500 Green Circle in Clermont.

“These came from residential burglaries where the perpetrators break into the house while people aren’t home and steal from the houses,” Strickland said. “They they try to sell the items, trade them for drugs or pawn them.”

Investigators are trying to identify a bow and arrow, several computers, three violins, three guitars and a flute.

“We urge anyone who has had property stolen to look at the photos and come in to us and see if we have recovered any of the items,” Strickland said. “We expect a number of additional arrests and are in the process of securing warrants for several suspects. We don’t release the names to prevent them from fleeing the area, but investigators are working on this now.”