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Arrests made in recent burglaries

Dennis Stephen Pope Jr. has been charged with burglary, criminal damage to property and felony theft by taking in the Aug. 2 break-in of a home on Cold Springs Drive, authorities said. (Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office)

Dennis Stephen Pope Jr. has been charged with burglary, criminal damage to property and felony theft by taking in the Aug. 2 break-in of a home on Cold Springs Drive, authorities said. (Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office)

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Shelah Sweat Burdette has been charged with theft by taking. (Dougherty County Sheriff’s office)

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Rick Allen Webb has been charged with theft by taking. (Dougherty County Sheroff’s office)

ALBANY — Charges have been brought against a man accused of breaking into several area homes. According to Sgt. Chad Kirkpatrick with the Dougherty County Police Department, Dennis Pope, 36, is charged with burglary, criminal damage to property and felony theft by taking in the Aug. 2 break-in of a home on Cold Springs Drive. One of the residents of the home, Bertha Thompson, was inside, Kirkpatrick said.

“He had come in through the back door of an office in their home,” Kirkpatrick said. Thompson “heard the noise and thought it was her husband. She was surprised to see (the suspect) standing there with a book bag filled with some of their things.”

Kirkpatrick said Pope may also be responsible for the burglary of Deborah Johnson, who resides on nearby Betty’s Drive.

According to Kirkpatrick, there has been an ongoing investigation of Pope’s activities by several other law enforcement agencies, including the Albany Police Department and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. The interest was further sparked, Kirkpatrick said, by a recent incident in which a Lee County resident chased a suspect, believed to have been Walton Marshall, into Albany at high speeds. That investigation led to Pope’s arrest by the APD on Aug. 14, officials say.

According to jail records, initial charges by the APD include possession of marijuana, drug related objects, parole violation and burglary. Additional charges may be pending with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Kirkpatrick said.

Two other suspects, Rick Webb, 32, and Shelah Burdette, 37, were arrested by Dougherty County police and charged with theft by receiving, Kirkpatrick said. The charges stem from their alleged connection with the storage facility on North Slappey Boulevard, where many of the stolen items were recovered.

All of the suspects were transported to the Dougherty County Jail, Kirkpatrick said.