Fivesome charged in church burglary and auto break-ins
A group of five young people from Thomasville arrested for burglarizing a Grady County church and breaking into several cars now face similar charges in their home county and some may soon face charges in Florida.
Alex Spivey, 22, and Tiffany Spears, 18, are still being held in the Grady County Jail, but if they post bond will then be taken to the Thomas County Jail.
Samantha Balthrop, 21, Brittany Smith, 20, and Danielle Smith, 18, have already posted bond in Grady and Thomas counties for their charges.
The four females and Spivey were originally stopped in Grady County in the wee hours of Tuesday, July 24. A resident on Ridge Road reported seeing a young female in his yard wearing gloves around 4 a.m. When he confronted her, the girl claimed she had been in a fight with another girl and a boy, then she ran from the scene and jumped into a grey Ford Taurus. The man reported the strange encounter and alleged fight to 911.
While en route to the scene, a Grady County Sheriff’s deputy passed a grey Ford Taurus and based on the car description from 911 conducted a traffic stop. The female driver claimed she and the three other females and one male in her car had been with other friends near Cairo’s Zebulon Theatre and were then going home. The deputy spoke to everyone in the car and seeing nothing suspicious, allowed the group to proceed home.
As daylight broke, three victims in the area of Ridge Road reported someone had broken into their unlocked vehicles. Items reported missing included binoculars and cash. There was an unsuccessful attempt to steal a radio out of one vehicle.
During their investigation, Grady County Sheriff’s investigators determined that one of the potential suspects worked at a Thomasville business.
By the next day, Grady and Thomas County Sheriff’s investigators teamed up and rounded up the five suspects.
Grady County Chief Investigator Steve Clark says the five likely broke into Missionary Baptist Church in Pine Park before breaking into the vehicles. Items stolen from the church include a small refrigerator, paper shredder, heat lamp and cleaning supplies. The refrigerator has been recovered. Clark says the group had traveled to the church originally to visit a gravesite of a friend killed recently in a car accident. He says investigators suspect they left the church and drove to the Ridge Road area to continue their night of crime.
In Grady County each is charged with three counts of entering auto and one count of burglary.
The Smith sisters and Balthrop, who all live together in Thomasville, have posted their $4,500 bonds in Grady County and Thomas County Sheriff’s Investigator Tim Watkins says they have also posted their bonds in Thomas County.
Spivey, a former Grady County resident, and Spears, who live together in Thomasville, remain in the Grady County jail with $4,500 bond each. Once posted they will then be transferred to the Thomas County jail.
Investigator Watkins says Spivey, Balthrop and the Smith sisters are each charged with one count of entering auto in Thomas County and additional charges are possible. The charge stems from three entering auto cases they are investigating there from July 18. Watkins says he has recovered many items from the residence of Spivey and Spears and is working to see if they were stolen from the autos in Thomas County. Spears faces a charge of credit card fraud in Thomas County. She is not suspected of being involved in the July 18 car break-ins, Watkins says.
Both Investigators Watkins and Clark say the group may also face additional charges in Leon County, Fla., for similar crimes.