Man charged with stealing from school

OAKWOOD - A Gainesville man faces criminal charges in connection with the theft of more than $11,000 from a Hall County school, Oakwood Police Capt. Andy Smith said Wednesday.

Jeremy Nathan Brantley, 26, has been charged with burglary and criminal trespass, Smith said. Smith anticipates more arrests will be made.

Details of Brantley's alleged involvement in the May 11 burglary were not released, but Smith said the safe stolen from Maranatha Christian Academy was recovered in Forsyth County. Cash was missing, but the recovered safe contained about $7,100 in checks.

The Oakwood school held the auction to help pay for operating expenses, including salaries, according to the school's Web site.

Brantley has been in the Hall County Jail on traffic offenses since June 2 when he was arrested.

That evening, Gainesville police were investigating a report of a suspicious person near Lakewood Baptist Church on Thompson Bridge Road. A Hall County Sheriff's Office deputy stopped a motorist, identified as Brantley, on Thompson Bridge Road, according to a news release.

Brantley was taken to the Gainesville Police Department for questioning in a burglary reported at Gainesville United Methodist Church, but he declined to make any statements, the news release states. Brantley was then booked into the jail on the unrelated traffic offenses.

During the investigation of the Methodist Church burglary, Gainesville police obtained information linking Brantley to a property crime in Hall County, the news release states. Further probes led authorities to Forsyth County, where Maranatha Christian Academy's safe was located.

On Wednesday, Gainesville police announced Brantley also faces charges of burglary and theft by taking in connection with the Methodist Church break-in.