Unsolved Cases

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 21, 2008

Police still pursuing suspects in old cases

By Billy Davis

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

From a late-night thievery spree to a pair of convenience store robberies, a number of unsolved cases have plagued Batesville police for several months.

But police said this week they are making progress on at least some of the cases.

The unsolved cases stretch back at least to July, when 16 unlocked vehicles in the Green Acres area were relieved of wallets, purses, firearms, electronics and other belongings.

A Pollard Street homeowner chased away two suspects, and identified the getaway vehicle as a four-door Ford truck, but the suspects were never found.

BPD Deputy Chief Don Province said this week that Detective George Williford and Panola sheriff’s investigator Albert Perkins continue to work on that case.

The sheriff’s department joined the investigation in September, when the thieves hit unlocked vehicles located along Highway 35 south of Batesville.

According to Williford, he and Perkins spent two days chasing leads in Indianola, Greenville and Greenwood before the trail went cold.

A credit card stolen from a home on Highway 35 was used at a convenience store in Indianola.

The Ford truck, identified by homeowner Jay Johnson, was later recovered in Greenwood.

“They dumped that vehicle, went across the street, and stole another vehicle,” Williford reported.

Regarding the store robberies, Batesville police have shared video surveillance footage with the public recently but so far no arrests have been made.

On October 3, the front page of The Panolian showed the photo of black male approaching the counter at Batesville Express No. 2.

Despite the store clerk’s colorful description of a black male with “long legs and really big feet,” police did not find the suspect.

Police did recover a wig and facemask used in the robbery, however, and Province said this week that pending crime lab tests on both items could help lead authorities to a suspect.

The second surveillance photo, which ran in the October 28 issue of The Panolian, showed a white male at The C Store, an Exxon station located at Power Drive in east Batesville.

Police also received a description of the getaway vehicle, a red Dodge Charger, but could not find the suspect.

Police said after the robbery that they believed the suspect was traveling south to Louisiana.

 According to Detective Paul Shivers, Batesville police have sent the surveillance photo from The C Store to other law enforcement agencies in Mississippi and Louisiana.

“We think they might be able to recognize the person in the photo,” he said, declining to name the agencies that are working with Batesville due to the ongoing investigation.

In a more recent incident, cameras at the new Holiday Inn in Batesville captured high-quality video footage of a black male stealing two flat-screen TVs from hotel rooms on November 9.

The video footage also showed the suspect leaving in a two-door Monte Carlo.

“The car has a chrome gas cap cover with chrome trim. It appears to be blue,” said hotel manager Vijay Vaghela.

Province said police are continuing their investigation of an attack and robbery of a woman at her home on Perkins Lane. That incident occurred late in the afternoon on October 12.

“We have talked to several persons of interest but we don’t have a firm suspect yet,” he reported.