YULEE, Fla. – Nassau County detectives have solved and made six arrests in a major theft ring on the west side of the county, the Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.
Over the last several months, items have been stolen from homes in and around Bryceville, Callahan and Hilliard, deputies said. They said after a lengthy investigation, the suspects were arrested on charges of grand theft, dealing in stolen property, and burglary.
Deputies said the suspects have also been involved in several crimes in and around Charlton County, Georgia, and the Sheriff's Office is working with Georgia law enforcement authorities to clear up outstanding thefts in their area.
Part of the group was also responsible for breaking into the Nassau County School Board Bus Yard in Callahan and stealing tools and a utility truck, deputies said. They said some of the items stolen were pawned, some were sold and some were traded for drugs.
Those arrested were Steven Fletcher, 43, of Callahan; Leroy Lee, 32, of Hilliard; Clinton Lee Jr., 45, of Hilliard; William Hash, 47, of Hilliard; Melissa Berkley, 32, of St. George, Georgia; and Quency Kendall, 36, of St. George, Georgia.
The following is a list of items recovered so far:
- 1990 Toyota pickup
- 1992 Chevrolet 1500 pickup
- 1997 Chevrolet Tahoe
- 2000 Nissan Frontier pickup
- 1997 Carolina Skiff boat and trolling motor
- 2005 Honda Fourtrax Rancher four-wheeler
- Polaris Ranger four-wheeler
- Battery charger and chainsaw
- 6-foot motorcycle trailer
- Golf cart
- Pressure Washer
- Shop vacuum
- Poulan riding lawn mower
Several other lawn mowers, homemade trailers, air compressors and tools were found and believed to be stolen, but have not been reported, deputies said. They said the investigation is continuing and more items may be recovered and more arrests may be made.
"Many of the items that were stolen were easily assessable, left under an open carport, keys left in the ignition or doors left unlocked," Sheriff Bill Leeper said. "So it is important to make sure your property is protected and stowed securely. It is also very important to keep a list of serial numbers or pictures of your property in the event it is stolen, and recovered law enforcement can get the items back to you."
The Sheriff's Office is offering a free citizen property inventory system for the general public powered by Leads Online. Go to www.reportit.leadsonline.com to keep a secure, online record of your valuable property. This will help law enforcement recover stolen property faster, and it's all free.
Deputies are also investigating several other recent break-ins along River Road in Callahan. No arrests have been made yet in these incidences, but detectives have received several leads.
If anyone has any information on these or other crimes, call the Sheriff's Office or Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS (8477).