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Three arrested for stealing washing machines, trailer from home
One arrested on meth possession
I-Home construction theft Brown MUG
James Melvin Brown - photo by For the Dawson County News

Three were arrested last week for allegedly stealing appliances and a utility trailer from an under construction residence in Dawson County while another in their company was arrested for methamphetamine possession.

Officers responded to reports of a burglary at a residence on Regan Road on March 25, according to police reports. It was reported that the suspects entered the residence through an unlocked door and stole several appliances, tools and fixtures.

Three Dawsonville residents were arrested on April 7 in connection with the incident, according to Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson.

James Melvin Brown, 72, Cheryl Elizabeth Collins, 58, and Ellen Elizabeth Latka, 52, were each arrested on the following warrants: a felony charge of theft by receiving stolen property, a misdemeanor charge of receiving stolen property, and three felony charges of criminal use of article with an altered ID.

Each is accused of knowingly receiving and retaining items that were stolen from the home. The items included a washer and dryer and two toilets, a value of $1,700, Johnson said.

They are also accused of knowingly receiving and retaining a Carry On trailer, valued at $800, and charged with unlawfully possessing a washing machine, a dryer and a Carry On trailer while knowing that the manufacturer's serial number had been partially removed for the purpose of concealing the identity of the article.

Also during the investigation, Timothy Lee Kirk, 54, of Dawsonville was arrested on a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance, Johnson said.

Kirk is accused of possessing a solid material which field tested positive for and is believed to be methamphetamine, a schedule II controlled substance.

Collins was released from the Dawson County Detention Center on April 7 on a $20,000 bond.

According to jail records, as of Monday, Brown and Latka are still being held in the jail on a $20,200 bond each. Kirk is being held on a $10,200 bond.

"We must constantly consider the potential for theft and safeguard ourselves and our property against such crimes," Johnson said. "All too often, residences under construction are an easy target for predators. These reasons may include no alarm system, loose materials and more obscurity for the criminal with various cars and people on site."

Johnson said he strongly encourages anyone building or preparing to build to contact the sheriff's office to request assistance.

"We will work in partnership with our community to help provide safety recommendations as well as provide extra patrols of the property," Johnson said.