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Suspects arrested after string of storage unit burglaries in Lowndes, Monroe counties

Joshua Ryan Welch (left) and Christopher Shay Dahl (right). Photos courtesy of LCSO. 

Police in Lowndes County have arrested two suspects they believe are linked to storage unit burglaries across the area.

Joshua Ryan Welch, 39, and Christopher Shay Dahl, 35, were taken into custody over the weekend following an investigation that dated back to January as to how multiple storage units in both Lowndes and Monroe counties were being broken into without any sign of forced entry.

Upon receiving video footage from one of the facilities, detectives with the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office discovered that the culprits appeared to have a master key and had been loading up stolen property into a green Ford F-150 King Ranch. The LSCO released pictures of the truck, and the dots were quickly connected as the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office had also been investigating several burglaries of storage units where a similar vehicle was being used.

Video surveillance of the green Ford F-150 King Ranch at a local storage unit (Photo courtesy of LCSO)

Deputies in Monroe County then went to a residence in Hamilton looking for Welch, who at this point, they believed was connected to the crimes. While at the scene, they were informed by the property’s owner that Welch and Dahl had been bringing a lot of items to the residence and leaving them in his shop. When officers went into the shop, they identified multiple items that matched the description of those stolen.

Both Welch and Dahl were taken into custody, with Dahl admitting to the burglaries and confirming each place they hit. He also said the two had a “large ring of master lock keys,” allowing them to enter each unit without forced entry.

“This is a great example of how important working with our law enforcement partners can be in addition to some great detective work,” Lowndes County Sheriff Eddie Hawkins said, per a release. “These two suspects are definitely walking down the wrong path in life, and now, it’s time to hold them accountable.”

Charges are expected to be made in both counties against Welch and Dahl, who are being held at the Monroe County Jail awaiting an initial court appearance. If you live in the area and have had property stolen from a storage unit, you’re asked to contact law enforcement and they will begin the process of returning your stuff.

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