A Braselton man was recently arrested during an investigation into statewide burglaries of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Management Areas.

Parker Lewis Dean, 20, of Braselton, was arrested in Barrow County on Sept. 23 for theft by receiving stolen property. James Arthur Graham, 22, of Lawrenceville, was arrested Sept. 25 in Gwinnett County for theft by receiving stolen property in connection with the statewide burglaries.

Both Graham and Dean allegedly went on a burglary spree together targeting the WMA’s from May through September.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation Cleveland Office was originally requested to conduct the investigation into burglaries in Stephens, Dawson and Lumpkin county WMA’s in June. As the investigation evolved, it was determined that additional burglaries occurred, both before the GBI investigation and during the investigation, in Hart, Putnam, Burke, Greene, McDuffie, Bartow, Marion and Dooly Counties. Additionally, the suspects are believed to be responsible for a burglary at the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge. The similarities between the burglaries led investigators to believe the same people were responsible for the burglaries identified in the investigation, according to a news release.

Approximately $50,000 worth of equipment was stolen during the burglaries and the majority of the items have been recovered as a result of search warrants done in Gwinnett and Barrow Counties.

The GBI Cleveland Office worked jointly with the DNR Law Enforcement Division to conduct this statewide investigation. The GBI Athens, Thompson and Americus Offices as well as local law enforcement partners were also integral to the investigation.

Graham was arrested and booked at the Gwinnett County Jail and Dean was arrested and booked at the Barrow County Jail. Upon completion of the investigation, the case file will be provided to the Georgia Attorney General’s Office for prosecution.

Additional charges for both Graham and Dean are expected.

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