Police: City prowler caught

Published 6:57 pm Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Brewton Police have arrested a man believed to be responsible for at least two trespassing cases and they say an investigation into other cases is continuing.

Grover Baggett, 24, of 1906 Sowell Road, was arrested Sunday and has been charged with second-degree burglary and two counts of third degree criminal trespassing.

Lt. Steven Ferguson with the Brewton Police Department said the arrest was made after officers answered a call to a residence on Escambia Avenue early Saturday and a call on Douglas Lane Sunday night.

“We received a call from a resident on Douglas Lane about a man looking in through a window of the home,” Ferguson said. “The homeowner said he had taken out the trash and saw a man at the window of his home. He ordered the suspect on the ground and called police. He was able to detain the suspect until our officers arrived.”

Ferguson said the Saturday morning disturbance on Escambia Avenue had not been solved when the Sunday call came into the department.

“A home owner on Escambia Avenue called in at 1:48 a.m. and said there was a person in their home,” Ferguson said. “They reported that when they arrived home they noticed somebody in the home and found them hiding in a closet.”

Ferguson said the homeowner confronted the intruder and he left the house running on foot. The suspect had left the area by the time police officers arrived at the Escambia Avenue address, he said.

After being arrested on Sunday, Baggett was questioned about the Saturday event, Ferguson said.

“We questioned him about the Saturday morning incident and he denied being involved,” Ferguson said. “We put his photo in a lineup of other photos and took them to the homeowner on Escambia Avenue. They were able to pick him out of the photo line up and described him right down to the clothes he was wearing. Their description was exact and he was still wearing the clothes he had on when he was seen at the Evergreen Avenue home.”

Ferguson said investigations that had been ongoing since November 2010 came to mind as he looked at the evidence in the case being investigated over the weekend.

“We had been investigating some cases of prowlers since last November,” Ferguson said. “It seemed a little coincidental that Baggett lives in an area where one of our investigations was being done. I spoke with him about that particular case from his neighborhood and he admitted he had been responsible in that case.”

Baggett is believed to have found a chair in the yard of a residence and moved it to a window to allow him to look into the home. Ferguson said the November case included evidence of footprints found in the chair at the window of a residence in the Sowell Road area.

“We are looking at all of the evidence in cases that we have been investigating for a while in cases of prowlers,” Ferguson said. “We will consider everything in those cases to see if he may be involved in any other reports of prowling.”

Ferguson said Baggett explained why he was drawn to particular homes in areas where the prowling activity had occurred.

“He told us he was attracted to those particular houses because the lights were on and he knew he could see inside,” Ferguson said. “When he looked in the house on Escambia Avenue, he could see nobody was home. He tried the door and was able to walk right into the unlocked house.”

Ferguson said homeowners should be aware of this activity and take special precautions to protect their homes and families.

“He walked right into that house because it was unlocked,” Ferguson said. “It’s a good idea to remember to lock your doors. Open blinds and lights in the homes have attracted this suspect and could be the same in other cases.”

Baggett was taken to the Escambia County Detention Center where he was booked on the charges. He remained behind bars Tuesday in lieu of a $25,000 bond.