By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Picayune Police officers investigated a shoplifting case on Monday where one of the two suspects fled the scene before officers arrived. However, while searching for the second suspect, officers found evidence of child neglect at the home where the suspect was thought to live, said Assistant to the Chief of Police Jeremy Magri.
On Monday officers were called out to Wal-Mart in reference to a shoplifting case where one of two suspects was taken into custody, 30-year-old Jaqueline Varnado, but the second suspect had fled the scene, Magri said.
Officers arrived and spoke with employees who provided information about the shoplifting. Magri said Varnado was taken into custody for shoplifting at that time.
Using a description of the vehicle spotted fleeing the scene, officers were able to locate a vehicle matching the description Tuesday morning while driving down South Steele Avenue. Magri said the officer saw the vehicle pull to the rear of a home at 217 S. Steele Ave.
Backup was called and after the home was surrounded, officers knocked on the door, coming into contact with 35-year-old Tony Garretson Jr., Magri said. Officers asked if the driver of the vehicle parked in the back was there, he said. Magri said Garretson told officers that only he and Varnado, who had bonded out, were in the home.
Consent to search the home was requested and granted, and as officers entered the home they saw another female come from a rear room of the home, Magri said. When asked, the woman gave a false name, but officers took a photo of her and cross referenced it with arrest records, establishing her true identity as 23-year-old Brittany Adams, Magri said. He said all three people are residents of the home located at 217 S. Steele Ave.
As officers spoke with the occupants of the home, they noticed it was in an extreme state of disarray, including mold from a leaking roof, food left out, clothes on the floor and cat feces, Margi said.
“It was in bad shape,” Magri said.
A 3-year-old child was in the home at the time, prompting officers to call the Department of Human Services, which took custody of child. Another 12-year-old child who lives at the home was at school at the time and was later turned over to DHS custody, Magri said.
A search of the home found some items believed to have been taken in the previous day’s shoplifting incident, along with some drug paraphernalia, Magri said.
All three were charged with possession of paraphernalia, while Garretson and Varnado were additionally charged with child neglect and resisting arrest of another for attempting to conceal Adams, Magri said. Adams was additionally charged with providing false information to a law officer.