Update: 2:20 p.m.: Parks has also been charged with burglary in the second degree. The dollar amount for the theft by taking under new revisions of the law will make that charge a misdemeanor instead of a felony, authorities said.
The owner of Precision Transmission for several weeks had suspected someone was burglarizing the business, so he set up surveillance cameras in hopes of catching the person responsible for the scrap metal thefts. Authorities said those efforts paid off early Friday morning.
Around 4 a.m., employees arrived at the work shop located at 2681 Monroe Highway to find a man inside, Oconee County Chief Deputy Lee Weems said. They chased the man into the woods and called 911, he said, and deputies set up a perimeter and used a K-9 unit to try to find him.
Investigators ran the tag on the suspect's car, which had been left at the scene, and reviewed video tapes. A deputy familiar with the suspect was able to identify him, Weems said.
While deputies were searching a Clarke County residence around 8 a.m., the transmission shop's owner reported having seen the suspect board an Athens Transit bus near Georgia Square Mall, a couple of miles away from Precision Transmission. Deputies pulled the bus over near Chick-fil-A on Atlanta Highway and took the man into custody without further incident, Weems said.
"We jumped on the bus and there he sat," he said.
Daniven B. Parks, 23, of Athens, was charged with theft by taking and burglary in the second degree, Weems said. The investigation continues.