Three suspects have been arrested in the Georgia locker room thefts, at least one of whom has been identified as a major football recruit.
Deion Bonner, Marquise Hawkins and an unidentified juvenile from Columbus were arrested by UGA police and charged with theft by taking over the weekend. They’re accused of stealing iPods and iPhones from the unsecured lockers of seven football players on April 7 during an open-house event at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall. The estimated value of the stolen items was $1,970.
Bonner was charged with one count of theft by taking, Hawkins was charged with two counts of theft by taking and the unidentified juvenile with three counts of theft by taking, according to Williamson. Bonner and Hawkins were booked at Athens-Clarke County jail a little after 9 a.m. Monday morning and have $1,500 bonds posted on each count. The crimes are considered misdemeanors.
Bonner, a 5-11, 185-pound defensive back from Carver-Columbus, is considered one of the top prospects in the state for the Class of 2012 and was included among the AJC’s “Tentative Top 10″ prospects for next season. The AJC has learned that Hawkins is not a college football prospect. Marquise Hawkins, sophomore running back, is the twin brother of Carver-Columbus quarterback Marqui Hawkins, who is a 2013 recruiting prospect, according to Carver coach Dell McGee.
McGee told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer the three players will be suspended at least the first five games of the upcoming season.
Asked how the suspects were nabbed, UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson said, “good investigation, people’s involvement and Facebook is always a big help.”
Williamson said police were able to obtain search warrants on the three suspects last week. Arrests warrants were issued on Friday.
Georgia has recruited numerous players from Carver, including running back Isaiah Crowell, the state’s top prospect and its most heralded signee from the Class of 2011. Sophomore linebacker Jarvis Jones is also a Carver graduate.
Spokesman Claude Felton said UGA Athletic Association is “declining comment at this time.”