Weekend Burglaries

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Traffic stop ends rash of burglaries

By Billy Davis and Rupert Howell

A Kilmichael man has confessed to a string of weekend burglaries throughout Panola County, authorities said Monday.  Sheriff Otis Griffin  credits surveillance cameras with helping law enforcement solve the case that had Batesville City and county law enforcement buzzing.

Rudy Floyd Flanagan, 55, faces felony charges for allegedly burglarizing nine businesses and a school, beginning with break-ins in the Pope community.

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He was arrested Sunday in Pope, when Panola Sheriff’s Deputy Tyler Mills spotted the white Chevrolet truck that had been identified on school video as the suspect’s vehicle.

Mills made the traffic stop just before noon, ending the crime spree near where it began early Saturday morning.

In Pope Flanagan allegedly burglarized Lipe Well and Supply, Pope School and Sayle Gas.

In Batesville he allegedly broke into Wanda’s Hair and Nail Design, Expert Auto Glass, Southern Couriers, Batesville Portable Buildings, and Dunlap and Kyle. All those businesses are located along or near Highway 51 South.

Flanagan is also suspected of burglarizing a soft drink machine at Powell’s Country Liquors, where an activated burglar alarm chased him away.

Batesville police were also investigating a break-in at Skyline Motel Monday.  

Panola Sheriff Otis Griffin said Woodlawn Animal Clinic, located north of Batesville, also reported a safe had been dragged away. Flanagan also confessed to that crime. Two doors had been pried open to gain entry.

After the break-ins, business owners reported broken windows and overturned furniture. But the burglar failed to carry away much more than pocket change.

 “He didn’t get much,” said Expert owner Terry Hubbard. “But he broke my door.”

The burglar broke windows at Wanda’s and at Southern Couriers to gain entry, Hubbard said.

At Dunlap and Kyle, a sheet of plywood was hanging from the front door Monday morning.

At Woodlawn, the safe contained medications, according to an incident report.

Flanagan told authorities he was searching for money to support a drug habit, said BPD Detective Paul Shivers.

Griffin said Flanagan’s criminal history includes a lengthy record of breaking into buildings.

“He is a convicted felon,” Griffin said.

Griffin said while at Pope School he broke a lot of glass on windows and doors and snatched drawers open spilling their contents on the floor. While in the school cafeteria there, he helped himself to cheese and milk.

After his arrest, Flanagan began his confession. Burglary tools as well as almost all items  and money taken were recovered according to Griffin.