Carver-Columbus football players Deion Bonner and Marquise Hawkins were among three individuals arrested in connection with the recent lockerroom thefts at Georgia's Butts-Mehre Building, UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson confirmed Monday morning.
An unnamed juvenile was also arrested and charged with three counts of theft by taking. All three were booked in the Clarke County jail at 9 a.m. They were later released on bonds of $1,500 per count.
Bonner was charged with one count of theft by taking, while Hawkins was charged with two counts of theft by taking.
"It took a few days to wrap up our investigation as we had to go to Columbus and meet with Columbus police to do some interviews with people there," Williamson said. "The parents have been very cooperative and we've recovered some of the stolen property.
The three are accused of stealing items worth approximately $1,990 from the football lockerrooms belonging to seven Georgia football players - Alexander Ogletree, Abry Jones, Kenarious Gates, Jordan Love, Rhett McGowan, Jamal Allen and Quintin Williams - during an open-house event. Williams said some stolen iPhones are the only items not to have been recovered.
"They've already passed from several hands a few times," he said.
Each crime is considered a misdemeanor, but Muscogee County School District athletic director Gary Gibson told the Columbus-Ledger Enquirer that Bonner and Hawkins have been removed from the Carver team.
Bonner is considered by Rivals.com to be one of the top cornerbacks in the state for 2012 and lists Georgia among his eight offers, while Hawkins is the brother of 2013 prospect Marqui Hawkins, considered one of the top quarterback prospects in the state for 2013. Marquis Hawkins is not considered a prospect.
Williamson said the use of Facebook played a key role in his investigation.
"Social networking has been very helpful to police," Williamson said. "We tell student groups all the time one of the best ways to avoid being a victim of crime is to be careful what you put on sites like Facebook. Kids are much more open to how they do it and are willing to post pictures of anything."
Carver coach Del McGee had no comment when reached by UGASports.