After receiving more than 100 comments on a picture of alleged thieves of a Haralson County food bank on social media, the Haralson County Sheriff’s Office was able to identify and charge two women with burglary.
Julia Ann Cash and Payton Breanna Phillips, both 23 and homeless, were charged on Wednesday evening last week with felony burglary. It was less than a week after they allegedly broke into the Bremen Food Bank and stole household goods including toothpaste, laundry detergent, bedding, a coffee pot, diapers and wipes, said Haralson County Investigator Donnie Mapp. They also took bottles of water and Gatorade, Mapp said.
Although they were homeless at the time of arrest, Cash and Phillips are originally from the Bremen-area, he said.
The two were allegedly seen on a surveillance video and a photo of them and Cash’s car was posted on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page two days after the theft. Sheriff Stacy Williams said the response from the public was overwhelming. His phone was ringing off the hook, he said.
“They flooded our social media with tips,” Williams said. “They gave us just a ton of information.”
Two days later, Cash and Phillips were in jail. Williams said that he received a tip the day after posting the photo that the two were in Carrollton at a location where there had just been an overdose. He contacted the local law enforcement who picked them up, Williams said. Then, Haralson County deputies brought the two women to the county jail.
As of Monday, the Sheriff’s Office post on Facebook had 163 comments and had been shared more than 700 times.
“Stealing from a food bank is just bizarre. Why didn’t they just get in line?,” wrote one commenter.
Another wrote, “That’s really trashy and super ghetto to steal from a food bank! The lowest of the low right here y’all! I hope they catch you.”
Several commenters knew the women and posted their names.
“It’s really a weird thing,” Mapp said. “In talking to people, they had just chosen a bad path.”
The two women were still in the Haralson County Jail on Tuesday. Their bonds had been set at $25,000 each.