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3 charged with theft at reservoir
Suspects accused of taking money from honor box at Hard Labor Creek
Hard Labor Creek Arrests
Three people were arrested after money was stolen from an honor box at the Hard Labor Creek Reservoir near Social Circle, Ga. They were, from left, 20-year-old Lacey Brooke Myers, of Covington; and Justin Allen Rowe, 21, and Michael Cody Rowe, 18, both of Monroe.

MONROE, Ga. — Fishing at the Hard Labor Creek Reservoir is supposed to be in the water for bass, bream, perch or catfish and not in the parking lot for cash.

However, according to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, three suspects in a March 25 theft of fees managed to fish envelopes out of the collection box where people who pay the daily fee deposit their payments.

The day was cloudy and cool, so the box didn’t contain that much cash to fish out. Reports say they got just $82.

It was enough for all three to land in the Walton County Detention Center on theft charges.

According to Capt. Kirk McElroy of the WCSO Criminal Investigations Divisions, deputies arrested Michael Cody Rowe, 18, and his brother Justin Allen Rowe, 21, both of John Stowe Road, Monroe. They also charged Lacey Brooke Myers, 20, of 535 Pirklefield Road, Covington.

Myers also was charged with violating her probation.

McElroy said the suspects told deputies they split the money three ways.

Deputies tracked down the suspects when a witness at the lake provided a tag number and vehicle description. The tag number proved to be incorrect, but deputies were able to match a similar tag number to a similar vehicle. The owner of that vehicle provided information that allowed investigators to identify suspects and get arrest warrants.

McElroy said some of the suspects had confessed and provided information that implicated the third.

Cosby Woodruff is the managing editor of The Walton Tribune. His email address is