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Four arrested in backhoe burglary

Firearms recovered from the burglary at "American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips father's pawn shop.

Firearms recovered from the burglary at "American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips father's pawn shop.

ALBANY, Ga. — The display of more than 10 used, old and scratched .22-caliber rifles, shotguns and a .380 handgun by the Albany Police Department Friday wasn’t the point.

The point to displaying guns at the pawnshop was to keep firearms off the street and out of the hands of criminals.

“We work every case to the fullest extent. We seek the truth and our job is to bring the truth to justice,” said police Lt. Terrance Bryant. “Anytime large amounts of weapons are on the street, it is of grave concern to us.”

photo

Joe Bellacomo

Albany Police Department’s Lt. Terrance Bryant, left, conducts a media presentation Friday at the Law Enforcement Center following arrests and items recoverd in the “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips’s father’s pawnshop burglary on E. Oglethorpe Blvd.

It was the “grave concern” to take the weapons off the street that led officers into quick action on the burglary case that involved the business of a local celebrity’s family, officers said.

Officers arrested five Thursday in connection with smashing a backhoe through the back of Albany Sporting Goods and Pawn sometime between 8 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. Tuesday. The pawnshop is owned by Donnie Phillips, father of “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips.

Those arrested, according to police reports, were:

• Quymeisha Wallace, 18, the only woman in the group. She is charged with one count of burglary;

• Maurice Sanders, 23, charged with burglary, theft by receiving, theft by taking, criminal damage to property and obstruction of an officer;

• George Ferguson Jr., 38, charged with obstruction of an officer;

• William Bush Jr., 53, charged with theft by receiving and theft by deception. He was picked up at 521 W. Whitney Ave.

Police arrested the others while serving search warrants on an Apartment C at 1703 E. Oglethorpe Blvd. on Thursday. Police also searched Apartment B at 1316 Residence Ave. Wallace was involved in another burglary that could be cleared with her arrest, Bryant added.

According to a Dougherty County Jail spokeswoman, at a first hearing before a judge on Friday, Wallace and Sanders were denied bail. Bail for Bush was set at $2,000 and for Ferguson at $1,000. No word was immediately available on whether they made bail.

The owner of the four apartments on Mulberry Avenue, Michael Martin, was taken in for questioning Thursday. He was released the same day.

So far no one has been charged with stealing the Water, Gas & Light Commission backhoe that was used to bash in the pawnshop’s back wall. It had been parked 1.5 miles away when it was taken.

The case isn’t done. Although the police also displayed jewelry and electronic games, they remain on the hunt for more weapons and other stolen goods.

“Thanks to the citizens of Albany we were allowed to make these arrests. Information from a citizen had detailed information. We called a defendant on the phone and they confirmed they committed the crime,” Bryant said. “If anyone has any of the weapons they should contact us to recover them and be willing to turn them in.”

Anyone with additional information should call investigations at (229) 431-3288 or Crime Stoppers at (229) 436-TIPS (8477). The Spanish language APD-COP Tip Line is (229) 434-2677.

Comments

Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

Herald: Could you please provide phonetic assistance so that we can all correctly pronounce the name "Quymeisha" when we are laughing and talking with all our friends this weekend about the stupid idiots who stole a backhoe and busted into a pawn shop in Albany, GA...the Good Life City. Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!

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FlunkyMonkey 2 years, 2 months ago

Phillip Phillips hour part two--now APD, please go after those who are doing the snatch and grabs. Those business owners deserve this much press coverage as well.

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Shinedownfan 2 years, 2 months ago

There are no tips being called in about the "snatch and grabs", therefore those crimes will never be solved.

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rock 2 years, 2 months ago

I am also wondering why this ONE robbery in the city of Albany where robberies are at best a daily occurance, is garnering so much media attention. It is just a pawn shop it one of the worst places in Albany not too far from crack town. It was just waiting be hit and the moron who runs it has is daily schedule posted so we all know when he is going to be back in Calif.

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FlunkyMonkey 2 years, 2 months ago

I told you--Phillip Phillips hour part two!! If his offspring had not won idol, this would have been just another crime on the east side of town where the APD doesn't really give a damn--Twelve hours to solve this one, but the APD can't solve a robbery committed in broad daylight--when the media lives in Lee County, what the hell do you expect?

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waltspecht 2 years, 2 months ago

Why do you have a hard time believing that the Police reacted the way they did because of the guns involved? After all we have seen like turnouts when there were other gun thefts, haven't we? As they say, someone is trying to spread it thick to cover privilaged citizenship and possible exposure on the National News.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

"Kwee-Mwee-Eeesh-Eeeah"? is that right?

The weekend's almost over and I have a Block Party scheduled for tomorrow night and I need a Phonetical Pronunciation! Come on, Man!

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

Joey James wants "Tha Numba" of that "Back 'Ho"...........Ha!

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cotenayj6 2 years, 2 months ago

Why wouldn't they try to quickly solve this? They stole several guns, the other smash and grabs were cigs and what not. Although they are both crimes the police should be working hard to solve, i'm sure the fact that several guns were stolen pushed them to solve this one a little faster to get them off the streets. Ofcourse i'm sure it being Philip Phillip's shop pushed it even more. Rarely do I agree with basically anything the APD does, but i'm happy they got these people off the streets and working on getting guns off the streets!

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