East Brewton PD arrests 5 for burglary, theft

Published 6:01 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2023

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East Brewton Police have been busy over the past two weeks making five arrests involving burglary and theft.
The latest arrest was made July 7 when officers responded to an incident on Maddox Street.
East Brewton Police Chief Kenny Brazile said the incident resulted in the arrest of Sarah Johnson who now faces two charges of theft of property, criminal mischief first and harassment.
Brazile said Johnson stopped a vehicle on Maddox Street that was being driven by the owner who is a neighbor of Johnson.
“Sara Johnson asked the victim to stop out of the vehicle so they could talk,” Brazile said. “When the victim stepped out, Johnson pushed her and jumped in the driver seat and took off with the victim’s vehicle. Shortly after, she was involved in a hit-and-run in the city of Brewton. She would eventually make it to Atmore and go to Wind Creek Casino.”
Brazile said Johnson spent a large amount of the victim’s money that was in the vehicle at the casino.
“A family member of the victim spotted Johnson at the Casino,” Brazile said. “Poarch Creek Police and casino security personnel located Johnson and escorted her out of the casino and detained her.”
Brazile said he arrived at the Casino and took Johnson into custody.
“We recovered the vehicle and returned it to the victim with some damages,” Brazile said. “A small amount of the money was also recovered from the suspect.”
East Brewton Police also made four arrests in connection with a burglary incident that was reported June 24 at W.S. Neal High School.
Brazile said the four suspects are all facing burglary and theft of property charges in connection with the incident.
Arrested are Thomas Peterson of Brewton, charged with two counts of third-degree burglary, theft of property first and theft of property fourth;
Clinton Tolbert of East Brewton, charged with two counts of third-degree burglary, theft of property first and theft of property fourth;
Timothy Peterson of Brewton, charged with burglary third and theft of property first; and
Joseph Learveal Stauch of East Brewton, charged with burglary third and theft of property first.
Brazile said the incident occurred early on June 23 at W.S. Neal High School’s maintenance shed.
“The suspects took several items that they could carry amounting to less than$500.00 worth of property,” Brazile said. “Later that night, the same two suspects returned with a third suspect and a truck. The suspects then attached a utility trailer (sitting beside shed)belonging to W.S Neal High School to their truck. They then broke into the same maintenance shed again and pushed a $12,000.00 Zero-Turn lawn mower onto the trailer. The suspects also took a push lawnmower from the shed and loaded it on the trailer as well. W.S Neal school officials discovered the break-in and theft the next day and checked their security cameras.”
Brazile said officers with the department responded and took the initial report and were given footage from the school’s cameras.
“An investigation was started immediately because of the small-time frame of recovering stolen property before it disappeared from the area,” Brazile said.
As the investigation continued, the discovery of some of the missing items was made on July 26, Brazile said.
“On July 26, the Zero-Turn lawn mower was located at a residence across the interstate in Range,” Brazile said. “The Zero-Turn lawn mower wasn’t damaged, and it was returned to officials at W.S. Neal High school. The push lawn mower was found behind a residence in East Brewton, not damaged and returned to school officials. The small items that were stolen with the first burglary have not been recovered at this time.”
Brazile said the quick recovery of the items was possible due to the quick reaction from school officials and officers in his department.
“I credit the success to the quick recovery of the property (utility trailer, zero-turn and push lawnmowers) to the school officials that discovered the theft on a Saturday evening and notified East Brewton PD immediately,” Brazile said. “With that discovery as well as very good security camera footage, I was able to hit the ground running Monday morning and had the property recovered by Monday evening.”
Brazile said thefts such as the one in East Brewton can be avoided with good protection by property owners.
“I would like to remind our citizens to please be vigilant of their valuable property in their storage locations and watch out for their neighbors as well,” Brazile said. “I recommend keeping serial numbers on property, keeping receipts of purchased equipment, doing checks on those sheds, car ports as well around the residence. If anything is found missing, report it to your local Police Department and Sheriff’s Office immediately. The chances for recovery of stolen property diminishes as time passes.”
Along with the recovery of the items taken in the East Brewton school’s location, Brazile said some other property was also recovered in the process.
“While apprehending suspects, there were items recovered that has been possibly stolen as well,” Brazile said. “These items are old equipment and possibly out of a shed. If anyone is missing items fitting this description, please contact Chief Kenneth Brazile at the East Brewton Police Department 251-867-4865.”
Brazile said a small portable generator, a hedge trimmer, an air compressor and a complete meter pole box were discovered among the other property recovered.
“Please don’t hesitate to call,” Brazile said. “You will remain anonymous. Also please be aware that if you purchase, take or hold any stolen property you could be criminally charged. So be mindful when someone brings you questionable items for sale or to hold.”
Brazile also offered his thanks to Poarch Creek PD and Wind Creek Casino Security in the July 7 incident.
“Their quick response to help detain the offender and bring this incident to a swift ending is appreciated,” Brazile said. “Also, a thank you to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, Brewton PD and Atmore PD for their assistance as well. This incident is an awesome example of multiple agencies, in different jurisdictions, coming together for one common goal, to serve and protect our citizens.”

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