Police said Wednesday they have made an arrest in the theft of 31 cell phones from the Toccoa Wal-Mart earlier this year.
Toccoa Police Chief Tim Jarrell said that his department has charged 33-year-old Ontorio Cortez Waymyers of Columbia, South Carolina in connection with the March 27 theft of $14,000 worth of cell phones from Wal-Mart.
Jarrell said the investigation broke open when police put information about the theft onto the Regional Organized Crime Information Center (ROCIC).
“We passed that information on,” said Jarrell. “They in turn distributed that information out to various other jurisdictions and locations. We received a telephone call and an e-mail from an agency who had someone in custody that matched most all the information we shared with them.”
Jarrell said that authorities then traveled to Greene County, Georgia to meet with the person of interest, identified as Waymyers.
“Detective (Shannon) Westbrook and a detective from the Hartwell Police Department went to Greene County, Georgia in an attempt to interview Mr. Waymyers,” said Jarrell. “While there, they were able to gather information and evidence from his vehicle that actually tied him to our Wal-Mart theft in Toccoa.”
Toccoa Police charged Waymyers with one count of theft by shoplifting.
Authorities have alleged that Waymyers used a pry bar to open the display case at Wal-Mart around midnight on March 27, put 31 cell phones into a suitcase, and leave the store.
According to Jarrell, police have not recovered the phones yet, but believe Waymyers may have sold some of them to a local business.
Jarrell said he appreciates the cooperation between agencies, which he called the key to making this arrest.
“Being able to share this information with multiple other jurisdictions, through the use of ROCIC, helped us to be able to locate this person and to be able to locate evidence of this crime,” said Jarrell.
Authorities indicated that Waymyers will also face charges in connection to a theft in Hartwell.
Waymyers remained in custody in Greene County.
Jarrell indicated Waymyers is a person of interest in connection to several incidents in many different jurisdictions.