Cairo, GA (May 26, 2023) - On Thursday, May 25, 2023, the GBI arrested and charged Cairo Fire Department Chief William “Bill” Thomas Schafer, 45, in Grady County, GA, with  felony theft by taking, and felony violation of oath of office. On May 11, 2023, the GBI was requested to initiate an investigation by District Attorney Joe Mulholland.

Schafer surrendered himself to the Grady County Jail after the GBI began an investigation into suspicious and questionable purchases from a financial account specific to the Cairo Fire Department. Additional charges of theft are expected in this investigation when the case is presented to a Grady County Grand Jury at a later date.

Schafer was booked into the Grady County Jail.

This investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the GBI Thomasville Office at 229-225-4090. Anonymous tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS (8477), online at, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.

Once this investigation is complete, it will be given to the South Georgia Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.


Special Agent in Charge Jamy Steinberg


Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael Callahan