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Atkinson County deputies, police break up region-wide theft ring

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Cornel Quintavious Billington Photo courtesy of Atkinson County Sheriff David Moore Cornel Quintavious Billington

Officers from the Atkinson County Sheriff's Office, Willacoochee Police Department, and Pearson Police Department helped break up a crime spree in Coffee and Atkinson counties, according to Atkinson County Sheriff David Moore.

According to a post on Sheriff Moore's Facebook page, Cornel Quintavious Billington, 26, is in custody in Valdosta after Atkinson County officers tracked him throughout the area. Billington was suspected of burglarizing or attempting to burglarize churches and cars in Coffee and Atkinson counties.

Officers eventually tracked him to a home in Valdosta, where Valdosta police served a search warrant on Wednesday, October 18. VPD officers found many of the items Billington allegedly stole in this area as well as items believed to have been stolen from break-ins throughout South Georgia. The Valdosta Police Department released information regarding the incident on its Facebook page as well. According to the VPD, police officers met representatives from the Willacoochee Police Department and Atkinson County Sheriff’s Office at a residence in the 1000 block of Cherokee Street, where Billington's vehicle was located.  Detectives with the Valdosta Police Department Burglary Unit responded to the residence.  After receiving no response from anyone inside the house, detectives obtained a search warrant for the residence.



As they prepared to execute the search warrant, the residents of the house, later identified as Billington and Megan Elizabet Clair, 23, came outside.  Both Billington and Clair were detained. During a search of the residence, officers found numerous items that did not belong to them.  Detectives also located three handguns, which were stolen from three different jurisdictions, Willacoochee, Tifton, and Coffee County. Detectives also located a quantity of marijuana and prescription pills.



Billington and Clair were transported to Lowndes County Jail.  They have been charged with four counts of theft by receiving stolen property-felony; possession of marijuana-felony; and possession of Oxycodone-felony.



Detectives are continuing to work with other law enforcement agencies to assist in their investigations. 



“This is outstanding teamwork between several different law enforcement agencies.  As detectives continue to go through the evidence, there is no doubt we will find more victims and these two will face more charges,” said Valdosta police chief Leslie Manahan.

 "Looks like Atkinson County law enforcement (WPD, PPD, ACSO) broke up a long crime spree all across South Georgia. Congrats, fellas," wrote Sheriff Moore on his page.

Last modified onThursday, 19 October 2023 21:55
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