From Press & Staff Reports
Webster County has been hit with a rash of burglaries over the last couple of months.
The Webster County Sheriff’s Department has made three arrests for burglary of an unoccupied dwelling and has warrants issued for one more.
It has five more suspects that are being looked at on other burglaries, according to a release issued Friday. These burglaries have ranged from home, automotive, church and vacant building, with a large range of items taken including guns.
Sheriff Tim Mitchell said he expects more arrests in the near future on some of the other burglaries.
Those charged with burglary of an unoccupied dwelling were Tony Mills, 44, of 1320 Hwy. 9 S., Calhoun City; and Rodney Smith, 45, and Delores Snow Conley, 67, both of 825 Snow Bottom Road.
Mills was arrested Jan. 3 by a state Corrections Department field officer and released the same day on $5,000 bond. A Justice Court affidavit alleges that he broke into Willie Mills Jr.’s house at 215 Water Tank Road in Bellefontaine on Jan. 2. Chief Deputy Jeff Mann said a small amount of copper wiring was stolen. Justice Court Judge Jerry Jones granted a motion by the county prosecutor on Jan. 15 to bind Tony Mills over to the grand jury.
Smith and Conley were arrested Jan. 16 on two counts each; they are accused of breaking into an abandoned house owned by Antoine High on Draine Road on Jan. 15 and 16. One affidavit alleges they removed a cast-iron bathtub and refrigerator, then sold the stolen items as scrap metal to Mississippi Demolition and Recycling. Another accuses them of disassembling the building with the intent to steal the lumber.
The two had initial appearances before Justice Court Judge Rebecca Ellison on Friday. Smith was released to Calhoun County, which had a “hold” on him, and Conley was released on her own recognizance, according to jail records.
Mitchell also stressed these points to the public.:
1. Please secure your residence when you leave, and don’t announce your vacations or any other times when you would be away from your home for an extended amount of time over the Internet. Many of these public web pages are abused by criminals in gaining intimate information on your life.
2. Please secure your vehicles, even when parked at your own residence. Place any items of value in the trunk or at least out of sight of would-be thieves. We have noticed that many of the auto burglaries that have taken place have been opportunistic in nature. In other words if they don’t see any valuables in plain sight there is a better chance they will leave your vehicle alone.
3. Please watch out for your friends and neighbors property. If you see any suspicious activity, please call 911. You would be surprised at how many crimes are solved or prevented by a simple call of a suspicious vehicle that just did not seem right in your community.
4. If you own a firearm please log down the make, model and serial number of the weapon and put in a safe place. This information is critical to solving the crime and getting your weapon returned to you.
If you have information on any of the burglaries in your area call the Webster County Sheriff’s Office at 258-7701. “Thanks for your assistance,” Mitchell said.