Man in custody following Warner Robins burglaries

WARNER ROBINS — One man was in police custody Tuesday evening following a more than two-hour search for suspects in two apparently unrelated burglaries, Capt. Robert Clark of the Houston County Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies used a helicopter and dogs to track the men, and nearby schools were put on lockdown during the search.

The name of the man in custody was not immediately disclosed because he still was being interviewed and was not officially charged with a crime yet.

The man and an accomplice are believed to be involved in an afternoon burglary at 111 Chamberlain Drive, off of Tharpe Road in Warner Robins, Clark said.

A neighbor saw someone in the yard, and notified the owner and sheriff’s office, Clark said. The owner arrived to see the suspects, who escaped through the back as deputies were arriving, he said. Some items were removed from the house, he said.

“We pursued until we were able to get one out of the woods,” Clark said.

Nearby schools were placed under lockdown as a result of the incident. Lake Joy Primary and Elementary schools, as well as Feagin Mill Middle School, were placed under Code Red from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m., said Beth McLaughlin, director of community and school affairs. Parents were notified by phone through an emergency contact system. Students at all of the affected schools were dismissed on time, McLaughlin said.

Meanwhile, a search also was under way across town following an interrupted burglary at Statham’s Landing subdivision, located near Robins Air Force Base, Houston County Sheriff Cullen Talton said. No one was arrested in the incident.

“The dogs never could pick up any tracks or anything,” Talton said.

More information about the Statham’s Landing burglary was not immediately available.

Clark said it was unusual that deputies had suspects to track in the burglaries. Usually, burglaries are reported after they take place, not during, he said.

“It’s very rare that you get a neighbor that observes something going on at the time, and you’re in the neighborhood close enough to do something about it,” Clark said.

Despite the similar timing of the burglaries, they do not appear to be related, Clark said.

“It’s unusual, but best as I can tell you it was a coincidence,” he said.

Telegraph writer Andrea Castillo contributed to this report.

To contact writer Jennifer Burk, call 256-9705.