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Police: Neighbors help solve burglary

Sharp-eyed neighbors helped solve a burglary on Poplar Avenue last week, Lt. Brock Holt with the Brewton Police Department said.

That kind of attention to detail can help out after a crime is committed, he said.

Jeffrey Gentry, 26, of Brewton, was arrested Friday and charged with second-degree burglary, first-degree theft, second-degree theft and breaking and entering of a vehicle — all felonies — after a resident on Poplar Avenue reported a break-in of a car and garage.

About $4,000 in items was taken from the garage, Holt said. The incident occurred about 2 a.m. Friday.

The victims were at home during the incident and discovered the theft Friday morning.

Holt said the suspect was questioned twice Friday before he finally admitted to the crime.

“What really helped solve the case,” Holt said, “was the victim and another neighbor were talking about it, and the neighbor had noticed the suspect earlier. When the public starts talking, that’s what helps us solve cases.”

This is the second burglary in that neighborhood — although they were unrelated — and one of a series in recent weeks in the Brewton area.

Holt urged residents to take simple precautions to avoid theft.

“Lock your car,” he said. “I know it feels safe, and it is, but these things can happen.”

Security measures like motion lights can also help, he said. And taking note of your surroundings and your neighbors’ homes is also key.

“What you saw a day or two before an incident can make a difference,” he said.