Shannon Lee Nunez

MOULTRIE — A former cotton gin company employee has been arrested in connection with the theft of more than $14,000 worth of equipment from his former employer.

Employees at Doerun Gin Co., 6522 Hwy. 133 N., Doerun, discovered Tuesday that batteries and electrical equipment had been stolen in a burglary of the business.

Shannon Lee Nunez, 29, 1817 Camilla Hwy., was charged Wednesday with two counts of burglary and four counts of theft by taking, the Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office said.

Investigators with the agency said that Nunez sold some of the equipment at Moultrie recycling businesses.

A law that went into effect in July 2012 has been helpful in making arrests in metal theft cases, sheriff’s Inv. Shawn Bostick said.

The law requires individuals to present a driver’s license when selling certain materials to a metal recycler. The purchaser also is required to take a digital photograph of the buyer and record identification information for the vehicle in which the material is delivered.

Batteries, aluminum beverage containers, other beverage containers and similar items are exempt from those requirements. Metal buyers also are not allowed to pay cash for covered materials but may pay cash for the exempted items.

“We’ve been able to recover a good bit of it at metal buyers,” Bostick said of the property stolen from Doerun Gin.

The stolen material included 12 vehicle batteries and nine electric motors ranging from a 5 horse power model to two 100 horse power motors. The total value of the stolen property was estimated at $14,000.

Nunez sold material that was taken in the theft at several metal recycling businesses, sheriff’s Inv. Jim Brown said.

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