A grieving family is praising the tenacity and big heart of a Flint Energies worker for helping local police catch two thieves ransacking their late father’s property.
Arguavious Searcy, a field services technician, was on early morning rounds this summer in Warner Robins, Georgia, when he spotted two men outside the home, removing equipment from a large toolshed.
Right away, Searcy knew something was wrong. The house had been sitting empty since its owner, Bill Hamil, died in January 2020.
“I had disconnected service from the house, and I remember thinking, ‘Those two guys aren’t supposed to be there,’” said Searcy. “They were removing chain saws, a battery charger on wheels…anything you’d see in a toolshed.”
Searcy watched the men for a few minutes as they placed the items in a car. He tried to take a photo of the car’s license plate, but the men spotted him and sped off. Undaunted, the technician pursued the suspects but lost them.
Afterward, Searcy drove back to the house, where he saw Hamil’s son, Gary, and told him about the incident.
“He told my husband, ‘Someone was trying to steal your stuff and I think they’re going to come back,’” said Jan Hamil.
That’s exactly what happened. Later that day, Searcy returned to Hamil’s house, saw the suspects, and contacted Gary Hamil, who called 911. Both men met the police at the home, and Searcy gave a detailed description of what he witnessed.
“Not only did he contact us and the police, he took pictures of them and gave a detailed description to the officers,” said Jan Hamil. “He really went the extra mile. He could have just called 911 and left.”
Meanwhile, Warner Robins police caught the suspects in a nearby neighborhood. A search of their car turned up the missing items, which Gary Hamil confirmed as belonging to his late father, according to an incident report.
Searcy “could not have gotten involved, but we realize that he is not the type of person to turn a blind eye to wrongdoings,” wrote Jan Hamil in a letter of commendation she later sent to the co-op. “We did not know Mr. Searcy before this incident, but we are very thankful for him.”
The suspects, William Stripling, 34, and Chance Crawford, 30, were arrested and charged with theft by receiving stolen property and loitering.
By getting involved, said Searcy, he had put himself in possible harm’s way. “The son (Gary) asked me, ‘Why did you do it?’ I said, ‘Man, where I work, we believe in serving members and non-members each and every day.’ That wasn’t right, and I would love it if someone looked after my home, too.”
Victoria A. Rocha is a staff writer for NRECA.