It was the thrill of the chase, not the money, that motivated Johnny Roque to partake in a series of church burglaries that plagued Lumpkin County for several months, said Sheriff Stacy Jarrard.
He had a full-time day job and was making plenty of money, he said. He was just doing it for the thrill.
Last Wednesday, that thrill came to an end when the 18-year old turned himself in to deputies at the Lumpkin County Detention Center during the early morning hours.
His alleged accomplice Skyler W. Michaelson, 20, was nabbed five days earlier when he reportedly attempted to sell stolen goods to an undercover LCSO deputy in the parking lot of the Dawsonville Kroger.
Michaelson had reportedly arranged the meeting though Craiglist.com. When he realized he was walking into a sting, he reportedly sped away from the scene in his girlfriends Ford Focus.
A high-speed chase ensued through Dawson County until Michaelson ran off the road on Harmony Church Road. He then reportedly fled into the woods and remained there until he was contacted via cell phone by Jarrard.
It was a sad situation with the mother and grandmother worried, Jarrard said. I walked up the road with a flashlight and he walked out of the woods.
Roques arrest was less dramatic, as his father dropped him off at the jail Wednesday morning. He now faces eight charges of burglary for the series of break-ins that began when an alarm was tripped in at St.Elizabeth Episcopal Church the morning of May 22. Similar burglaries followed as items taken ranged from cash to a safe to sound system equipment.
Some items were more high-dollar than others.
The only thing they got from Siloam Baptist Church were packs of Kool-Aid, said Jarrard. They said there was nothing else to steal so they got mad and took that.
Michaelson has since been charged with 10 counts of burglary in Lumpkin County.
In Dawson County, Michaelson was charged last week with fleeing and attempting to allude, obstruction of an officer, passing in a no passing zone, failure to stop for a stop sign and reckless driving, Dawson County Public Information Officer Tony Wooten said. This week, the Dawson County Sheriffs Office charged Michaelson with three counts of burglary, three counts of theft by taking, three counts of criminal trespass and four counts of criminal attempt to commit a felony.