Youth held in EB theftsPublished 3:00am Saturday, March 10, 2012
A rash of thefts and burglaries in East Brewton over the past several months has landed a juvenile suspect under arrest.
East Brewton Police Chief Kenny Brazile said the suspect may be connected to more than one of the half dozen thefts and burglaries reported in the city. The juvenile was charged with two counts of burglary with other charges possible.
“Over a period of time, we had several break-ins reported across the city that included businesses, a church and even one residence,” Brazile said. “All of the break-ins were similar by way of entry into the buildings and by what was taken. We believe we may be able to connect our suspect to one or more of these incidents.”
After word of the arrest spread through the community, more and more victims began to come forward, Brazile said.
“Most of the cases involved petty thefts where just leftover change money was taken from the businesses or from the church,” he said. “Some of the thefts weren’t reported to us until some time had passed since there weren’t a lot of high-value things taken. If we had gotten the information early on, we may have been able to make some connections early in the cases.”
The largest burglary victim was Evans Cigarette King tobacco shop on Forrest Avenue, Brazile said.
“During our investigation of the suspect, we were able to recover some of the merchandise taken in that particular burglary,” Brazile said. “We recovered about $4,000 worth of merchandise from the suspects bedroom at his home. From that we were able to tie that incident in with another burglary. We have other open cases that we strongly believe this suspect was involved with due to the similarity of the crimes.”
Brazile said victims of any crime should make a report to police to be investigated or to be noted by law enforcement officers.
“No matter how small the property loss may be, it needs to be reported,” Brazile said. “Small thefts by suspects tend to lead to bigger thefts and burglaries, which is what we believe happened in this case. The thefts started out small and ended up with thousands of dollars in merchandise taken from one business. There is evidence in every case that is important.”
Brazile said East Brewton police are taking steps to ensure these kinds of thefts don’t happen to the people they serve. “We want people to be aware and be proactive in protecting their property and we want to help them do that,” Brazile said. “By making sure doors and windows are locked before they leave their business, they will greatly minimize the chance of someone entering their business. We have gone back to shaking doors during our patrols around the city every night. If we find a door unlocked we can help by getting that door locked up and the business secured. When we work together, we can help each other.”