Officials looking for grabby "handyman"
Antonio Hornsby, accused of posing as an air condition repairman and stealing money from wallets and purses in office areas along Interstate 75 has been caught in North Carolina. He is currently being held in the Deckle County Jail and will be brought back to Georgia.
Officials say 54-year-old Antonio Hornsby is the man caught on multiple surveillance cameras throughout businesses in Georgia posing as a handyman in order to steal money.
Law enforcement agencies across the state from Athens to Lowndes County are searching for Hornsby after he has been using a stolen car since March 20th to travel up and down Interstate 75 targeting different businesses.
Officials say Hornsby enters the businesses and identifies himself as as an air conditioner repairman, pesticide worker or carpet cleaner in order to gain access to the back area or office. Once he's left alone, Hornsby is then caught in camera rummaging through desks, purses and more.
On March 25th, Hornsby hit both the Zaxby's and Denny's restaurants in Cordele before driving north to Vienna to successfully try the same trick on the town's Pilot store.
Detective Andrew Roufs with the Cordele Police Department says Hornsby didn't steal much from the two businesses but he faces two misdemeanor counts of theft by taking for the incidents.
Denny's employee Aaron Edalgo says Hornsby was very believable as a repairman despite the fact that workers didn't recognize him. Edalgo says Hornsby asked appropriate questions and walked around checking on the heating equipment as if he was truly working on it and is surprised to find out he's actually a wanted criminal.
Officials say Hornsby is a career criminal who has spent most of his life in and out of the judicial system and was only released from prison on January 6th.
Captain Cozie Ray with the Vienna Police Department says whatever jurisdiction Hornsby is found in will be the first to try him and then will be transported to each other county to be tried on their individual charges.
Captain Ray says Vienna Police are charging him with theft by description as well as theft by taking.
For now, officials say they're trying to locate Hornsby and the 1994 beige Buick Regal he stole from a family member. Officials say the car could have a Georgia license plate with the tag GA8931 or possibly an Illinois plate with the tag 566434RT.
If you see Hornsby or the car he's driving, contact your local law enforcement office but officials say do not approach him because the only time he has allegedly become aggressive is when someone tries to apprehend him.