By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
A concerned citizen who called in a suspicious vehicle helped the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department net two suspects in the process of committing burglaries, said Chief Deputy Shane Tucker.
The department received a call around midnight Saturday of a suspicious vehicle parked at a home on the 50 block of Big Spring Road, Tucker said. He said a responding deputy found two suspects and two children.
Deputy David Silva arrived to find a vehicle parked on a long driveway at the home with two adults inside, 20-year-old Joseph D. Rewis of 4050 Breakingridge Rd., Eight Mile, Ala., and 35 year-old Thomas J. Smith of 36 Meadow Lane, the chief deputy said. Tucker said the deputy also noticed two children in the vehicle.
Silva asked the two men what they were doing in the area and received what he considered to be a perplexing response, that they were there to take the children night fishing, Tucker said. However, there are no bodies of water nearby, Tucker said.
During Silva’s conversation with the two men he noticed a box of fireworks in the vehicle, and when he inquired about the fireworks, the two men said they found them, Tucker said. With his suspicions roused Silva took the two men into custody and checked the nearby home, Tucker said. He said during the check of the home Silva noticed a screen had been removed from a window, prompting him to notify the resident who was home at the time.
The resident checked around the house and noticed a box of fireworks missing from his garage and that his vehicle had been rummaged through, although nothing was missing from the vehicle, Tucker said.
Both Rewis and Smith were charged with two counts of commercial burglary for taking the fireworks and rummaging through the vehicle, in addition to one count each of attempted residential burglary for removing the window screen, Tucker said. Since the children were with them at the time, both Rewis and Smith also were charged with two counts each of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, Tucker said.
Smith was on probation at the time of the crime, so a hold was placed on him for a probation violation, Tucker said.
The Department of Human Services was called to the scene to watch over the children until a grandparent came to care for them, Tucker said.
Tucker said Silva did an excellent job investigating the complaint and he said he also appreciated the citizen who called in about the suspicious vehicle.
“We appreciate these kinds of calls anytime we get them because it certainly led to these two guys being captured,” Tucker said.