Deputies said Winstead stole more than $8,000 worth of new appliances from a home on Smith Lake just hours after they were delivered on Oct. 21.
According to Chief Deputy Jerry Cummings and Sgt. Investigator Keith Concord, the appliances were delivered to the home on Oct. 21 and were reported missing early on Oct. 22. The interior of the house had also suffered extensive vandalism.
Cummings and Concord said they were eventually able to recover the appliances in Holly Pond, where they had been resold to someone who was building a house.
Winstead is facing charges of first-degree theft of property, first-degree criminal mischief, third-degree burglary and third-degree criminal trespassing. He is being held in the Winston County Jail on a $60,000 property bond.
Deputies said they expect at least three more arrests in the case. They say Winstead acted with an accomplice and that warrants have been issued for the accomplice, but, because he had not been arrested yet, they could not release his name.
To safeguard your home when you’re gone, deputies recommend exercising caution when hiring workers and allowing them access to your home.
They also recommend not broadcasting your absence from home on social media, because you never know who could be watching.
“People don’t realize that even theives have Internet and cell phones,” Concord said. He said they have arrested offenders who lived in a shed, but still had access to Facebook and other online sources.
They said that many times thefts occur in the middle of the day and people overlook it because they don’t expect anyone to steal in daylight.
“Neighbors can help more than they think,” Cummings said. “If you see something suspicious, call the police.”