Residents claiming property
Published 1:07 am Monday, June 12, 2006
By By MARY-ALLISON LANCASTER – Managing Editor
The Brewton Police Department is still hoping residents can identify some of the items recovered after a six-month drug investigation.
On May 25, officers carried out a search warrant at 203 Rankin St. and were surprised to find not only drugs and firearms, but more than $50,000 worth of stolen property.
Police Chief Monte McGougin said five rooms were completely full of stolen property, which included generators, skill saws, unopened property, bikes, trolling motors, power tools, televisions, stereos, cameras, jewelry and much more.
Five individuals were arrested and charged with multiple drug charges. Among those arrested was Willie Ervin McCants Jr., 37 of 203 Rankin St. He was later charged with receiving stolen property on top of the drug charges. Police officials said McCants is the only suspect to be charged with receiving stolen property.
On Thursday, a police official said the department has returned six or seven items to the rightful owners. However, the remaining items are still being held at a warehouse.
At least 70 to 80 people have looked at the items to see if any of it is theirs, but officials said they're having a hard time getting the property back to the owners.
One of the main problems is that owners cannot prove the property is theirs unless there is some identifiable mark or a matching serial number.
Just because a certain saw looks like the one you owned doesn't necessarily mean it's yours, officials said.
In the meantime, officials have said they are surprised at the amount of people who have showed up and hope to give even more of the property back to the rightful owners.
Officers are reminding residents to mark their property somehow or write the serial numbers down and keep it in a safe place.
Contact the Brewton Police Department at 867-3212 if you think some of the recovered property is yours.