Diamond theft suspects arrested

Diamond Theft

EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – Reports have been confirmed at this time that two suspects have been apprehended in the investigation into Wednesday night’s, December 4, 2019, break-in and theft at North Georgia Diamond in East Ellijay, Georgia.

Tyreke Marquise McCloud

Tyreke Marquise McCloud

Kimmone Alexander Stewart

Kimmone Alexander Stewart

Kimmone Alexander Stewart, 22, of Orlando, Florida,  and Tyreke Marquise McCloud, 21, also of Orlando, Florida, were apprehended on December 5, 2019, just before 9 p.m. in Turner County in South Georgia.

According to a statement from Gilmer County Sheriff Stacy Nicholson, the Sheriff’s Department responded to a request from East Ellijay Police Chief Larry Callahan to assist in the investigation of the theft. However, due to the extensiveness of the crime scene and the dollar amount in merchandise stolen, the Sheriff’s Office requested additional aid from the GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigation).

Nicholson went on to say that through the investigation, authorities were able to recover video footage of two African-American males entered the building by breaking through the front glass. They were also able to determine the suspects were driving a Dodge Charger. With this information, Nicholson said the Sheriff’s Office put out regional requests for “like crimes in other jurisdictions.”

With more evidence still being processed and analyzed, information came in today from the Turner County Sheriff’s Office who had arrested two African American males driving a Dodge Charger and matching the description of the suspects involved in the diamond theft.

Diamond TheftNicholson recounted that Turner County Deputies had attempted a traffic stop of the Charger, but the vehicle fled police. The chase ultimately resulted in the Charger crashing and the two suspects being apprehended by deputies. However, Nicholson said the deputies also found a large amount of jewelry in the vehicle during their processing of the scene. Turner County began reaching out for information on related crimes.

Currently, Sheriff Nicholson said they are processing more evidence tying these two to the North Georgia Diamond theft and break-in, and through further cooperation with Gilmer County Detectives, looking at the evidence in Turner County, detectives were able to connect these two men to the crime. However, the Sheriff’s Office is only releasing this preceding information at this time. He said they will be charging the two with one count of burglary each and are pursuing warrants drafted to bring the suspects back to Gilmer County to stand trial for the theft after Turner County finishes with its traffic charges for the two suspects.

Nicholson went on to say, “Although there was a lot of good police work that went in to the initial investigation of this case. It always helps to have a little luck on your side when you’re investigating a burglary. I personally give a lot of credit to the Turner County Sheriff’s Office for helping us solve this crime.”

Diamond TheftBill and Alison Craig, owners of North Georgia Diamond, were unable to be reached for comment directly. However, official statements from North Georgia Diamond said,”Thank you to Sheriff Stacy Nicholson, Captain Brian Shepard and his Investigation Team, GCSO, East Ellijay Police Chief Larry Callahan, Shane Bowman, Tommy Long, The GBI, and all the other members of their departments. We also wish to thank the Turner County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance. We would also like to thank the team from DC Glass for putting our showcases back together in record time. Our wonderful community reached out in so many ways with prayer and offers to help and it worked. This is amazing news and well, We are having a DOOR BUSTER SALE with half off gold and diamond jewelry til close today and another special sale tomorrow. We are beyond excited about this development.”

In a surprise turn, information of the suspects apprehension came today on the same day that North Georgia Diamond has officially reopened after the incident, December 6, 2019. With quick repairs and replacements, a statement yesterday from North Georgia Diamond said, “There are still a few cases that need new glass (that will happen Saturday) and we may be a bit stressed but we will not let this senseless break in get us down.”

In fact, as if in opposition to the diamond theft, North Georgia Diamond has already announced two sales going on this weekend, quickly returning to not only normal business, but showing resilience against both the break-in and the loss of merchandise at the time.

Nicholson stated, “It would appear, at this time, that at least a large portion of the stolen merchandise from North Georgia Diamond was recovered by the good work of the Turner County Deputies.”


Bailey Teague is the TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week for the Lady Cats

GHS Basketball, Player Of The Week, Team FYN Sports
Bailey Teague

Bailey Teague is the TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week for the Lady Cats!

Teague, a senior, scored a game-high 21 points in a narrow, 61-59 loss at Murphy on Thursday, Dec. 5, from the point guard position.

On Tuesday, Dec. 3, Teague was second on the team with nine points in a big Region 6-4A victory against Southeast Whitfield County. The Lady Cats (4-2, 1-0) won the game 57-41, with Teague handling the distribution responsibilities from the point.

For her efforts this week, Bailey Teague is the TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week for the Lady Cats!


Cade Carter is the TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week for the Bobcats

GHS Basketball, Player Of The Week, Team FYN Sports
Cade Carter

Cade Carter is the TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week for the Bobcats!

Carter put forth incredible effort last week, pulling down double-digit rebounds and scoring double-digits points in two wins for Gilmer.

On Tuesday, Dec. 3, Carter scored 16 points as the Bobcats took down Region 6-4A opponent Southeast Whitfield Co. 68-55 in Ellijay.

Carter followed that with 14 points and double-digit rebounds in a big, non-conference win at Murphy on Thursday, Dec. 5, in Murphy.

Carter came to play over the week on defense, providing great inside presence for the Bobcats in the two wins. The sophomore is off to a strong start as the strongest post player for Gilmer, which is 5-1 overall this season.

For his efforts, Carter is the TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week for the Bobcats!


Bobcats hang on in the fourth to win at Murphy

GHS Basketball, Team FYN Sports

Junior Braden Jenkins goes up for two of his team-high 16 points for the Bobcats on Thursday night in Murphy.

With four Bobcats in double-digit scoring, the Gilmer boys basketball team managed to fend off the home-team Murphy Bulldogs and earn the 58-52 win on the road Thursday, Dec. 5.

Gilmer (4-1, 1-0 Region 6-4A) was led by junior Braden Jenkins, who scored 16 points, including sixth in the fourth on a made basket and 4-of-5 shooting from the free-throw line.


Sophomore Cade Carter goes up for two of his 14 points in Gilmer’s win Thursday night.

Jenkins was followed by sophomores Lewis Mulkey and Cade Carter, who scored 14 points each in the win. Mulkey came on strong in the fourth, scoring 10 of his points to keep the Bobcats in the lead.

Junior Brady Sanford added 13 points in the victory for Gilmer.

Luke Wimpey hit a free throw to round out the scoring for the Bobcats.

Gilmer took a 14-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, but the home team Bulldogs poured in 21 points in the second to take a 30-28 lead into the break.

The Gilmer defense came to work in the third quarter, pressing full-court and forcing several turnover while limiting the Bulldogs to just five points in the period.

The two teams traded baskets and fouls in the fourth as the game turned physical. The Bobcats managed to keep the Bulldogs just out of contention late as they pulled away for the six-point win.

Gilmer is off this weekend. The Bobcats next take the floor for a home game against region-foe Heritage beginning at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 10.

After that, the team visits Ridgeland for another Region 6-4A game Friday, Dec. 13, beginning at 8:30 p.m.


Major issues to be discussed at final 2019 BOC meeting


ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer County is not taking the final month of 2019 easy as published agendas for next week highlight action to be taken on the possibility of a TSPLOST (Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) in Gilmer alongside other issues with board and authority appointments, a leftover concrete bid not awarded in November, updates on the 2020 Road Paving List, and 10 zoning requests among other items on the long agenda.

As stated in previous months and special called meetings, the TSPLOST proposal will be a five-year tax similar to SPLOST. However, the TSPLOST will be dedicated to Gilmer transportation needs specifically. This could be usable for equipment purchases, paving, maintenance, and even road crew salary.

Although support was high in the Roads and Bridges Town Hall meetings, others are voicing concerns over another tax added to the county. As opposed to additional millage on property taxes, this TSPLOST would be another one-cent tax added to purchases in the county.

Discussion will be held at both meetings along with opportunities during the “Citizens Wishing to Speak” sections of those meetings. The work session will be held Wednesday, December 11 at 9 a.m., and the regular meeting will be held Thursday, December 12 at 6 p.m.

Along the same topic of roads, the commissioners are set to discuss next year’s paving plans including the 2020 Road Paving list, setting exactly which roads will be covered under the LMIG (Local Maintenance Improvement Grant) and county funding for the year.

Additionally, the monthly update and discussion on the county pool could highlight costs as the county is pursuing bids for demolition of the old pool and preparation for its use as the new pool’s location.


Gilmer girls basketball team loses late lead at Murphy

GHS Basketball, Team FYN Sports

Junior Emma Callihan, left, goes up over Murphy’s Taylor Phillps for two points in the game Thursday night.

The Gilmer girls basketball team saw an eight-point lead evaporate in the fourth quarter in a narrow, 61-59 loss at Murphy on Thursday, Dec. 5. The game was the home and season opener for Murphy, but the Lady Cats threatened to spoil that all night long.

Despite leading for the majority of the second half, the Lady Cats (4-2, 1-0 Region 6-4A) couldn’t withstand a furious comeback from the Lady Bulldogs (1-0) in the final frame.


Senior Bailey Teague lines up the shot before drilling the 3-pointer against Murphy on Tuesday night.

Senior point guard Bailey Teague scored a game-high 21 points in the loss, including scoring 11 of the team’s 17 first-quarter points.

Gilmer took the early 9-2 lead in the first, but Murphy evened the score at 17 each heading into the second quarter.

The Lady Cats managed just 10 points in the second quarter, including four from Teague, while Murphy managed to put up 11 and take the 28-27 lead into halftime.

Led by six points from junior Emma Callihan, Gilmer exploded for 19 in the third quarter to take a 46-40 lead with a quarter to play.

Sophomore Elly Callihan scored six in the final frame, while junior Hope Colwell added five. The Lady Cats led by as many as eight in the fourth, but the Lady Bulldogs came storming back with less than four minutes to play to earn the two-point win in their season opener.


Sophomore Elly Callihan moves in for a rebound against Murphy on Thursday night.

Elly Callihan finished with 13 points, while Colwell, Emma Callihan, and senior Jalynn Ledford each scored eight in the loss.

Junior Jasmine Staley added a made free throw in the second quarter to round out the scoring for the Lady Cats.

Gilmer has the weekend off and next plays Heritage for a Region 6-4A game Tuesday, Dec. 10, in Ellijay. That game is set to begin at 6 p.m.

After that, the team goes on the road to visit region-foe Ridgeland on Friday, Dec. 13, with a tip-off time slated for 7 p.m.



Diamond Store Break-in occurs in East Ellijay


ELLIJAY, Ga. – Owners of North Georgia Diamond in Gilmer County have confirmed a break-in and theft occurred in their showroom last night, December 4, 2019.

According to a statement by North Georgia Diamond, the business is already beginning to recover and are looking to return to business this weekend.

So far, East Ellijay Police, Gilmer’s Sheriff’s Office, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) have all been reported to be involved in the investigation. FYN has reached out to these agencies for comment and is awaiting a response.

Additionally, North Georgia Diamond has confirmed that with the break-in happening overnight, no injuries came from the incident. However, there was damage to the building and equipment.

With the investigation ongoing, North Georgia Diamond released a statement saying, “Nobody got hurt and we will get through this. Thanks to all of the law enforcement personnel that have been on the seen this morning. East Ellijay PD, Gilmer County Sheriffs Office, GBI, and anyone else I am leaving out. They are the best. Stay tuned for more info as to when we can get back up and running. We have a wonderful community and we will have a Merry Christmas.”


Potential Scam reported in Ellijay


ELLIJAY, Ga. – Business owners and downtown merchants are being a little more cautious this holiday season as Ellijay is falling under similar situations as so many across the country this season with scam artists.

Laura Thomas, the owner of Green Willow Soap in Downtown Ellijay, has been reporting and raising awareness of a specific scam artist that visited her shop this week. Thomas says that the older-looking woman entered her store complaining that she had lost her atm card and couldn’t access her money in the bank.

Photo of the alleged scammer provided by Laura Thomas.

According to her story that she told, the woman had also not eaten lately nor had anywhere to sleep the night before. Thomas stated, “I told her that I would call the police to help her. The tears stopped, sobbing stopped, and she all but ran out of my store and up the sidewalk.

Thomas told FYN that as she followed the lady, continuing to ask her to wait for the police, the lady entered a vehicle with a Bartow County License plate.

However, Green Willow Soap is not the only one reporting this scam. Allegedly, similar situations have occurred at the downtown barbershop and other businesses. Marcelle Lowry of the barbershop told FYN that the barbershop had given the lady $20 before she had gone into Green Willow Soap. Lowry then followed with Thomas as they were asking that she wait for the police. Lowry said she kept crying as she was in the shop, but she did not appear to have any tears on her face.

Additionally, as Thomas originally went to social media to share the experience, numerous people have come forth saying they have helped the lady as well or given rides. Allegations continue to say that others have seen her in Cartersville and Canton as well.

In a season focused on sharing and giving gifts, many also take time to also share and help those in need. However, it seems that more and more lately, others continue to take advantage of this season in attempts to prey on those who would help others with scams like this. Citizens and local business owners continue to share these stories to help each other avoid these scams and learn from the situations.


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