Three charged for theft of government records

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Three Georgia residents were arrested last Friday by the Sheriff's department after allegedly trying to steal old records from the Butler County Courthouse.

Beth Ann Hatcher, 30, Dalon Todd Pettigrew, 32, and Michael Eugene Allison, 46, all of Summerville, Ga., were arrested Friday after they allegedly attempted to steal courthouse records, some dating back to 1853.

"They said they were supposedly doing background information on one of their relatives," said Sheriff Diane Harris. "But that doesn't give them the right to steal government records."

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Harris said she was alerted to the theft by a citizen who brought one of the old books, which they found in the parking lot, back into the courthouse. They also brought back in a bag containing a notebook. The BCSO immediately put out a possible description of the vehicle the trio was driving in hopes they could be found.

While the search was going on, Hatcher returned to the courthouse to retrieve the notebook. Harris said she followed Hatcher out to the vehicle she was riding in where she met Pettigrew and Allison.

"One of them opened the door and paperwork from 1856 fell out of the vehicle," she said. "They were not copies, they were originals, so I placed them all under arrest for theft of government records."

The group was all charged with theft of property in the first degree but have since bonded out of jail.