Suspect arrested in area TV thefts

Published 6:10 pm Friday, March 16, 2012

Douglas Peter McEachin of Thomasville, Ga.

A Thomasville, Ga., man has been charged with stealing televisions from Walmart stores in Bainbridge, Valdosta and Thomasville, according to Bainbridge Public Safety.

Douglas Peter Mceachin, 49, of Thomasville, was arrested Friday morning in Thomasville, BPS Investigator Chris Jordan said.

Mceachin allegedly stole TVs from the Bainbridge Walmart on three separate occasions within the past week and also had warrants for his arrest in Thomasville, Jordan said. Investigators believe Mceachin had stolen “numerous” TVs from south Georgia Walmart stores and either sold them for cash or traded them for illegal drugs, Jordan said.

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The Thomasville Police Department put out a “be-on-the-lookout” (BOLO) dispatch to area law enforcement on Wednesday afternoon. The suspected described in the BOLO had also been spotted on the surveillance video at the Bainbridge Walmart in recent days, so BPS officers were actively hunting him.

In fact, Mceachin had reportedly taken TVs from the Bainbridge Walmart on Saturday, March 10, and Wednesday, March 14. So when BPS officers received a 911 call that a man driving a white Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck had just stolen a TV from Walmart around mid-day Thursday, officers were hot in pursuit. Unfortunately, the suspect evaded them at the time.

On Thursday night, BPS officers set up a road safety checkpoint in central Bainbridge. A man matching the description of the theft suspect came through the checkpoint, was identified as Mceachin and photographed. At the time, police had to let him go, but now knowing his identity and home address, Thomasville police were able to catch up with him Friday, BPS Chief Investigator Frank Green said.

Mceachin is charged with five counts of felony theft by receiving in Thomas County. BPS plans to charge him with four counts of felony shoplifting, Jordan said.