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Cherokee County employee arrested in Forsyth for alleged construction site thefts
John Maxwell Bailey 021319
John Maxwell Bailey

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Cherokee County government employee in connection with a string of construction site thefts that allegedly took place in January and February.

John Maxwell Bailey, 37, of Forsyth County, an employee of the Cherokee County Roads and Bridges department, was arrested on Feb. 5 after he was allegedly found in the Lake Haven Subdivision off Hurt Bridge Road with lengths of wire apparently taken from a home under construction.

According to a sheriff’s office incident report, at about 7 a.m. a builder with SR Homes contacted authorities stating that he had discovered a suspect in the back of the Lake Haven Subdivision who was known for previous thefts in the area.

“(The builder) told Mr. Bailey he had pictures of Mr. Bailey and his vehicle stealing wire from other lots,” the report states. “Mr. Bailey admitted he has stolen wire previously but denied taking wire on this date.”

After being confronted by the builder, who allegedly photographed his vehicle and tags at the residence, Bailey fled the scene, allegedly leaving a bundle of wire behind him on the curb, according to the report.

Deputies later found and identified the suspect as Bailey at Ducktown Park in west Forsyth, confronting him with trail camera footage taken from the home under construction and allegedly showing Bailey in the home holding wire.

“I interviewed the suspect. He confirmed the still picture I captured from the video was him,” a sheriff’s office deputy stated in the report.

Bailey was interviewed at the sheriff's office’s south precinct and charged with misdemeanor theft by taking, criminal damage to property and a felony charge of possession of tools during the commission of a crime.

He was held in the Forsyth County Jail and was later released on a $22,955 bond.