Gary Eli Gibson, 42, and Shawn T. Hicks, 38, are charged with burglary and theft after they reportedly told the victim they worked as “stump grinders.”
Bob Gault, media relations coordinator for the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, said other area law enforcement agencies could be looking into similar cases in their counties and possibly in North Georgia.
“They used the stump grinding business as their way to gain access, then distract the victim,” Gault said.
“There also could be other individual victims in surrounding counties,” he said.
According to Gault, detectives learned from the homeowner on Sheep Ranch Road that she was approached by the pair inquiring about grinding up tree stumps on her property. After agreeing to let them do the work, one of the men distracted her inside the home while the other went into a detached garage. There he removed automobile parts, tools, bicycles, metal, a chainsaw and other items having a value in excess of $10,000.
Gibson listed a Cleveland address. Hicks provided both a Cleveland and a Soddy-Daisy address, according to Gault.
Gault said anyone having prior contact with the suspects and having been approached by the pair referencing work should contact the Criminal Investigations Division at 728-7336.
According to Gault, Hicks and Gibson had prior convictions and are to remain in custody at the Bradley County Jail regarding parole violation warrants.