A father and son vacationing out of state asked Oconee County Sheriff's deputies early Tuesday to check on their Briar Lakes Court home after friends told them someone had been seen inside of the house and driving their vehicles.
When deputies arrived at the address around midnight, they say they didn't see any signs of tampering with the doors and both cars were in the garage.
There was rain on the two BMWs, according to one deputy's account, and the cars' radiators were hot. There were also fresh, wet tire tracks leading into the garage "as though someone had just pulled inside," he wrote.
At the request of the homeowner, deputies entered the home through a kitchen door in the garage and announced themselves. A man in his socks appeared at the top of the stairs from a bedroom and told deputies that he was just there to return a set of car keys belonging to the son and that he was going to leave through the back door once deputies left, according to the report. The man and the house smelled of cigarette smoke, the deputy noted.
The man then reportedly told deputies the 23 year old had given him permission to drive his car and asked that he return the keys to the home when he was done. But the victim disputed that claim, saying that the two were "ex-friends" and that he hadn't granted permission for the man to do those things.
Steven Ross Brannon of Debi Court was charged with burglary and auto theft. Additionally, he was charged with forgery in the first degree in connection with a separate alleged incident at Oconee State Bank on Monroe Highway Monday afternoon.
According to that incident report, around 4 p.m., Brannon allegedly attempted to cash a forged check through the drive-thru, but was told he needed to enter the bank because he wasn't a member.
He then went inside and presented a check, a Georgia driver's license, and a Social Security card, bank employees told deputies. The assistant manager asked Brannon to wait a minute in order to make copies of the documents, but she said he walked out of the bank and left everything behind.
The owner of the alleged stolen check was contacted but declined to pursue charges, the report stated. However, a warrant was obtained for forgery in the first degree.
Over the course of the investigations, deputies say they also discovered that there were active traffic warrants out of Arcade and theft warrants out of Athens-Clarke County in Brannon's name.