THOMASVILLE — A man authorities said committed three store burglaries within two days was arrested Thursday afternoon.

A still photo from a surveillance video of a male who broke into an Ochlocknee store during predawn hours Wednesday shows the burglar wore a ball cap with the logo of an Albany restaurant.

Capt. Tim Watkins, Thomas County Sheriff’s Office chief investigator, said a sheriff’s office investigator recognized the logo.

The photo was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation task force in Albany. GBI agents contacted the restaurant, and Samuel Lee Baxter eventually was arrested. 

“They were able to identify Baxter as one of their former employees,” Watkins said.

Baxter was tracked to a Thomasville business and arrested about 2 p.m. Thursday.

He is charged with the Ochlocknee cigarette burglary and a similar burglary at a convenience store on U.S. 84 East Wednesday morning after the Ochlocknee burglary.

Watkins said Baxter always enters businesses by throwing an object to break glass and always steals cigarettes and cigars.

Baxter, 50, told investigators he is homeless. The suspect is from the August area.

A search of his vehicle produced clothing worn in some of the burglaries, Watkins said.

“He was hitting the city and county,” said Lt. Toby Knifer, Thomasville Police Department Criminal Investigations Division commander.

On Tuesday night, glass was broken at an East Jackson Street convenience store to gain entry. Cigarettes, cigars and a large amount of cash were taken.

Knifer said Baxter will be charged with entering auto at a convenience store at Smith Avenue and Pinetree Boulevard, along with a couple of similar incidents in the city.

Watkins said Baxter is wanted for cigarette burglaries in Lee, Doughtery, Mitchell and Worth counties.

Stolen cigarettes are sold on the street, the investigator said.

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