Three Chattooga County residents were arrested this week after an investigation by the Georgia Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner’s Office and the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office in connection with a house fire that happened on February 8th. Insurance Commissioner John King says that the three are accused of stealing electricity from Georgia Power, which led to a house fire that destroyed the home the three family members were living in.
Commissioner King said, “On February 24, Investigators with the Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner’s Office assisted with the arrest of Jonathan Stricklin, 47, Jimmy Stricklin Jr., 54, and Janice Stricklin, 78. The three individuals are accused of illegally obtaining power for their residence, causing a fire to break out on February 8. All three individuals face one count of Theft of Services.”
King continued, “The home, located at 169 Wild Life Lake Road in Summerville, was completely destroyed by the blaze, which started as a direct result of the illegal connection of the utility,” said Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King. “Money in the sum of $7,694.57 was allegedly stolen from the power company. Stealing power is not only an incredibly dangerous practice; it is a felony charge that brings a prison sentence of one to ten years.”
The three individuals were all booked into the Chattooga County Detention Center. Janice Stricklin has posted bond, but Jimmy Stricklin Jr. and Jonathan Stricklin remain incarcerated. The three arrests brings the total statewide number of individuals arrested with the assistance of the Fire Investigations Unit in 2020 to eighteen.
Commissioner King’s Fire Investigations Unit assisted the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office with this investigation.