Retired Marine helps Tybee police nab burglary suspect

Tybee Island, GA - TYBEE ISLAND, GA (WTOC) - Police say a retired Marine from Tybee Island gets the credit for catching a burglary suspect they had been trying to track down for weeks.

Tybee Island Police say the suspect didn't stand much of a chance with Lester "Sarge" White on duty.

Sarge now works security for the Beachside Colony Oceanfront Resort.

"I work mainly on Friday and Saturday nights," Sarge said.

On the night of Saturday July 10, an officer asked Sarge to keep a look out for their suspect. They suspected him of breaking into condos and storage units and stealing from beachgoers.

Sarge said he knew just where to find him. "I was told by an officer the subject was supposedly in this area, maybe camping out," he said. "I was making my rounds and sure enough he was there and I grabbed him and held him for police."

He found him hiding in a storage closet. He said he held the suspect by the neck with one hand and called 911 with the other hand.

Tybee Island police Lt. Jonathan Hagan said Sarge has helped officers out before, but never like this.

"At first I thought he was a very brave man going solo to capture a burglary suspect with nothing other than a cell phone," Hagan said.

As for the suspect, 32-year-old Anthony Kockuikov, he's in the Chatham County Jail.

Police said that so far they have linked Kockuikov to five burglaries and a theft, but they believe he is responsible for several others. In fact, police say once he was behind bars, the rash of burglaries on the island has stopped.

Sarge said he's just glad he could help. "I think it's good riddance for him to be off Tybee," he siad.

The Tybee Island Police Department and the mayor presented Sarge with a special plaque to say thank you. It was paid for by the Tybee Police Association funds.

Copyright 2010 WTOC. All rights reserved.