A DeKalb County, Alabama man is behind bars in northwest Georgia, accused of stealing air conditioning units from a pre-school in Henagar.
DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden says the theft took place around 3:00am on August 21st – those units were taken from the Busy Bees Pre-school on Highway 75 in Henagar and that suspect is also thought to be responsible for another theft at DeSoto State Park.
An investigator with the Henagar Police Department took the lead on the case with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office providing assistance.
Eyewitnesses gave a description of a suspect, and vehicle, that was in the area at the time of both thefts.
Investigators learned that a suspect and a vehicle matching that lookout was pulled over by the Sylvania Police Department in the area. The suspect, identified as 39 year old Charles Ray LeDon Wilbanks, once a resident of Ft Payne, currently lives near Rome, Georgia – and after checking with several scrap yards around that area, it was discovered he had recently sold a large number of air conditioning components.
Shortly after obtaining a warrant for his arrest, a scrap yard notified investigators that the suspect had arrived to sell additional air conditioning parts. Rome Police were notified and they quickly arrived and took Wilbanks into custody.
He was arrested on a warrant for Theft of Property, 1st Degree.
Wilbanks’ wife, Wendy Wilbanks, age 42 of Ft Payne – was also arrested on an outstanding felony warrant in DeKalb County for Failure to Comply.
Both remain in the Floyd County Jail – awaiting extradition to the DeKalb County Detention Center.