Tybee Island police recover missing historic doorknob

The Tybee Island Lighthouse is among the many sights to gawk at during the Critz Tybee Run Fest’s unique five-races-in-one version of running a marathon. SUZANNE VAN ATTEN / SVANATTEN@AJC.COM
The Tybee Island Lighthouse is among the many sights to gawk at during the Critz Tybee Run Fest’s unique five-races-in-one version of running a marathon. SUZANNE VAN ATTEN / SVANATTEN@AJC.COM

It was the case of the missing doorknob.

On June 3, workers at the Tybee Island lighthouse noticed that the 155-year-old fixture was missing from a door. They immediately took to social media seeking help for its return.

Days later, police opened an investigation and uncovered surveillance footage showing a man unscrewing a doorknob on the top viewing deck of the lighthouse and putting it in the pocket of his cargo pants.

The police department posted a photo of the man who allegedly stole the doorknob, and the photo was shared on social media more than 3,000 times.

Tybee Island Police spokesman Lt. Emory Randolph said the department received an abundance of tips.

“One tip led us to Greene County Indiana,” Randolph said, “and the sheriff’s department was able to confirm [the suspect’s] identity.”

This is the photo of a man who has been arrested for stealing a 155-year-old doorknob from the Tybee Island lighthouse.
This is the photo of a man who has been arrested for stealing a 155-year-old doorknob from the Tybee Island lighthouse.

Credit: Tybee Police

Credit: Tybee Police

Randolph said law enforcement officials there were able to retrieve the doorknob from the suspect’s home and send it back to Tybee Island.

Randolph said residents are passionate about the preserving the lighthouse, as it is a major landmark on the island.

The man, who’s name has not been released, has not yet been charged.

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