Burglaries 4-27-12

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Four-day rash of burglaries netted guns, TV’s, more

By Billy Davis

The Panola County Sheriff’s Department is hoping to use the Crime Stoppers program and a list of stolen items listed in The Panolian (see partial  list on page A3) to end a string of residential burglaries in the county.

Sheriff Dennis Darby has already reported that more than a dozen homes were burglarized last week, with the thieves entering the homes when the homeowner had left for the day.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

A follow-up report from the sheriff’s department this week shows 14 homes were hit on Curtis, Greg Taylor, Holston, Mt. Olivet, Pope-Water Valley, Pope Crowder, Shiloh and Ward roads, and Hwy. 310.

That string of burglaries occurred between April 17 and April 20, said sheriff’s investigator Bryan Arnold.
“We don’t think they’re all connected — not the ones in the north,” said Arnold. “But we’re pretty sure the ones in the Eureka area were done by the same people.”

No arrests have been made though some people have been questioned, said the sheriff.  

Darby told The Panolian he has personally met with each of the crime victims and assured them the sheriff’s department is pursuing the thieves.

“These are crack heads doing this for drug money,” Darby said. “We are after them and we won’t let up until they’re caught.”

The sheriff said it was luck that the burglars have failed to enter a home when a homeowner is inside, which could lead to a shooting.

Darby said an elderly resident, who stays home during the day, had gone to the doctor last week. The resident has no car, suggesting to the thieves that the owner had left.

“What would have happened if she was home?” Darby asked rhetorically. “That could have been bad.”

The sheriff said he believes the thieves are carefully watching homes and the “best deterrent” to the burglaries is to keep an automobile parked in the driveway.

The list of stolen items includes more than 21 firearms, 19 TVs, laptops and other electronics, and more than 30 pieces of jewelry that were stolen from homes over four days.

The Panolian is publishing a portion of the list in today’s issue of the newspaper.

Bryant said the department is hopeful that someone who bought an item will contact the sheriff’s department to report the name of the seller to authorities.  

Receiving stolen property is a crime but the buyer would not be liable if they’re cooperating with law enforcement, he said.

Darby said the sheriff’s department is alerting the public to the thefts to raise awareness of the rampant crime.

“It’s an epidemic not just here but across the country,” Darby said. “We’re not going to hide this from the public to make them think there’s no crime. They need to know and need to watch out for their neighbors.”

The Crime Stoppers number is 1-800-729-2169.
People who call Crime Stoppers do not have to give their name. The caller is given an identification number.

If the information leads to an arrest, the person providing the information will receive a cash reward through the assigned identification number.

The following firearms were reported stolen in Panola County from 14 homes April 17 to April 20:
•    Remington 11 automatic shotgun, 20 gauge
•    Remington Speed Master .22 rifle, with silver scope
•    Remington .270 bolt-action rifle with scope (small
    scratch on scope)
•    .25 automatic handgun
•    .38 Special revolver
•    12 gauge shotgun
•    .22 caliber rifle
•    Enfield 1918 .303 bolt-action rifle
•    New England 45-70 rifle
•    Savage 7mm-08 rifle
•    Colt M-4 .22 long rifle
•    Winchester pump shotgun, 12 gauge
•    New England .243 rifle
•    Rossi .357 Magnum six-shot revolver
•    Winchester 30/30 lever-action rifle
•    Ruger M77 rifle, black with black Nikon scope
    (“Pittman” engraved on magazine)
•    Browning BLR 7mm Magnum, lever action with wood
    grain stock. Simmons scope.
•    Mossberg 4×4 30-06 rifle, wood stock and black
    fluted barrel. Nikon scope.
•    Winchester Super X-2 shotgun, 12 gauge.
•    Remington 870 Wingmaster shotgun, 12 gauge
•    Ruger 10-22 .22 rifle, black synthetic stock.
    Bushnell scope.
•    Air Soft sniper rifle, with scope and bi-pod.

The following electronic items were reported stolen in Panola County from 14 homes April 17 to April 20:

•    Vizio 32-inch flat-screen TV
•    Crosley 56-inch flat-screen TV
•    L.G. 42-inch flat-screen TV
•    Playstation 3
•    Playstation PSP
•    Motorola walkie talkies with charger
•    Dell Inspiron laptop computer
•    X-Box 360 game console with controllers
•    Nine-inch flat-screen TV
•    Vizio 15-inch laptop computer with charger, black
    with crack on left side
•    Acer 12-inch laptop computer
•    17-inch computer monitor with cords
•    Wireless mouse, black and gray
•    Dell laptop computer, with red cover
•    Vizio 37-inch, flat-screen TV (two stolen)
•    Wii game system
•    Pioneer vehicle entertainment system
•    Pioneer vehicle radio/CD player
•    Alpine vehicle radio/CD player