On October 6, 2014, the Griffin Police Department received a theft report from the Georgia Department of Transportation regarding the theft of several guard rails from their construction site on the highway 16 bridge over Georgia 3. The guard rails were estimated to be valued over ten thousand dollars. Later that same week on October 10th the Police Department received a theft report from Boney Aviation located on Kalamazoo Road regarding the theft of thirty aluminum storage containers valued over twelve thousand dollars.
As Investigators from the Property Division of the Criminal Investigations Division began investigating the cases they were able to locate several of the stolen items at a nearby scrap yard. With cooperation from the scrap yard they were able to determine that it was the same suspect that scrapped the stolen items from both cases. Investigators were able to obtain his identity from the scrap metal company records. He was identified as Jerry Randall Keye, age 50. Mr. Keye used an Alabama ID when he sold the items to the scrap yard. Through further investigation the Investigators discovered that Mr. Keye was living at 627 Ellis Street in Griffin.
On October 13, 2014, Investigators went to 627 Ellis Street at which time they located Mr. Keye and a second suspect later identified as Michael Burleson, age 46. They took both Keyes and Burleson into custody without incident. While at the residence on Ellis Street Investigators located additional stolen items that belonged to both the DOT and Boney Aviation. Both Jerry Randell Keye and Michael Burleson admitted to the thefts during an interview with Investigators. They were each charged with Felony Theft by Taking.
While interviewing the suspects it was also discovered that they were responsible for two additional thefts that occurred in Spalding County and two in Henry County. Both agencies were notified and additional charges may be pending.