TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) — A historic brass doorknob stolen from the Tybee Island Lighthouse has returned home from a brief stint in Indiana.
The doorknob was recovered in Greene County, Indiana, according to Tybee Island Police Department. Detective Travis LeGuin hand delivered the knob back to the Tybee Island Lighthouse.
According to the Tybee Island Police Department (TIPD), social media helped track down the man accused of pocketing the item.
Robert Bryson, Tybee Island Chief of Police said signed warrants are out for the man for Burglary and Interference with Government Property. He said once the man is arrested the DA’s office will decide whether they’ll extradite him.
“We’re so glad that it has been found. We didn’t think we would see it again, and without the Tybee Island community’s support, I don’t believe we would have. There is no monetary value that can be placed on it. It is unique to our lighthouse and had been on the watch room door for over 150 years,” Tybee Island Light Station And Museum said in a statement.
Last Thursday, the lighthouse crew discovered the 155-year-old doorknob was missing from the observation deck door at the top of the tower.
“We hate to think that someone stole it but, since it has not been found, it looks as if it’s a possibility,” a Facebook post from Tybee Lighthouse reads.
Days later, TIPD got involved. In a review of surveillance footage from the lighthouse, police spotted a man who appeared to remove the doorknob and place it in the pocket of his cargo shorts.
A still image from the footage posted on the department’s Facebook page was shared nearly 3,000 times and brought in “an abundance of tips,” including one about a man living in Greene County, Indiana.
TIPD worked with the Green County Sheriff’s Office and confirmed the man was the suspect they were looking for.
On Wednesday, less than a week after the doorknob was taken from Tybee, Green County deputies recovered the item from the suspect’s home. TIPD says charges against the man, whose name has not been released, are pending at this time.
Meanwhile, arrangements are being made to get the doorknob back atop the lighthouse.
“The men and women of the Tybee Island Police Department would like to extend special thanks to the staff of the Greene County Sheriff’s Office (Indiana) and all of our friends across the social media community for their help in this investigation,” TIPD wrote online. “Thank you.”