Mark Short has been charged with seven counts of burglary and possession of tools for the commission of a crime. Tina Short is charged with burglary and three counts of theft by receiving stolen property.
Mark and Tina Short were arrested without incident after a search warrant was executed at the Short’s home in the Plantation Place Subdivision, where Sheriff’s detectives discovered approximately $20,000 in stolen household goods.
Thus far, the pair has been charged in connection with 12 residential burglaries in Gordon County. Detectives are in the process of returning the property to the rightful owners. The 12 burglaries were reported in a wide variety of communities, from Sugar Valley, to Lily Pond, to Ranger, and were as recent as last week, according to the release.
Sheriff’s detectives have been in search of the bandits since December 2011 and the couple is also suspect in investigations from Whitfield County authorities, regarding theft cases.
At the time of the Short’s arrest, Mark Short was on probation for a prior burglary convictions.
“I am pleased that my detective staff never gave up on these cases, and brought them to a successful resolution. It’s always good to be able to return property to the rightful owners, as what is often stolen is irreplaceable,” said Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston.
The name "The Christmas Bandits," was given to the unknown suspects due to the large number of thefts which occurred around Christmas time in 2011, according to Gordon County Chief Deputy Sheriff Robert Paris. The thefts were mainly in the Sugar Valley-Hill City area.