SOCO sheriff’s office recovers 691 pieces of stolen property
Published 5:14 pm Wednesday, July 9, 2014
COURTLAND—When James William Thomas III, 29, was arrested back in April in connection with the burglary at Liberty Coin, detectives discovered something that led them to seek search warrants for his Little Texas Road residence, said Maj. Gene Drewery, spokesman for the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office.
Thomas allegedly had tools in his possession that had the name of a victim from a previous Southampton County crime scene.
After obtaining a search warrant, Det. C.S. Cobb, Det. S.T. Griffith, Det. Sgt. W.V. Covington and deputies secured the property and searched the suspected residence in the 28000 block of Little Texas Road in Branchville.
A total of 691 pieces of stolen property were recovered from the home. To date, 466 of those items have been tied to specific crime scenes in the area. So far, Thomas has been connected to approximately 23 burglaries and larcenies dating back to 2006, said Drewery.
Thomas has also been connected to 10 residential and commercial burglaries and three grand larcenies in Southampton County. In most of these cases, better than 75 percent of the property was recovered. Property from the April 26 Liberty Coin burglary was also recovered.
A number of guns and other property were recovered from burglaries and larcenies in the counties of Sussex and Greensville, and the City of Suffolk.
Six burglaries were solved from Northampton County, North Carolina, along with recovering a stolen truck.
More burglary and larceny charges could be pending as the sheriff’s office continues investigating. Detectives continue to identify property and contact victims.
A recovered SD card also led to an additional charge of peeping into an occupied building. Deputies found footage where Thomas allegedly filmed a woman through a window at her Branchville home in September 2013. The sheriff’s office is continuing to go through his computer hardware to look for additional incidents.
At some point, Drewery said, the sheriff’s office will display the property and, hopefully, return it to the owners.
Thomas’s preliminary hearing in Southampton County General District Court on June 24 was continued to Tuesday, Sept. 2. For the charge related to peeking into a dwelling, he will be in court on Tuesday, Aug. 12.
The Branchville man was arrested after Franklin Police Officers responded to a phone call from Dan Crumpler III’s law office downtown. Thomas was alleged to have previously broken into the roof of Crumpler’s bathroom to gain entry to the building. From there, he reportedly gained access to Liberty Coin, which connects to that bathroom, and stole an estimated $600 to $700 worth of coins.
When allegedly returning to the scene, Thomas was arrested on the rooftops without a struggle.
Thomas remains in Western Tidewater Regional Jail since being arrested in April. He has no bond.