A robbery, a burglary, and two drug arrests

Published 7:30 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department added three suspects to the jail population and are currently looking for two more suspects.

Incidents recently worked by the department include the armed robbery of a local convenience store, a night time burglary of another convenience store and incidents of drug use and sale.

Deputies with the department are still looking for two black males involved in the armed robbery of Logan’s One Stop on North Beech Street in Picayune, according to a release from the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department. Saturday night at about 6:15 deputies responded to an armed robbery call, the release states.

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Witnesses reported that the two individuals entered the store and approached the counter to purchase something, the release states. When the clerk opened the register, one of the suspects pulled a gun while the other suspect went behind the counter to assault the clerk, the release states. Capt. Chris Lott said the suspect used only his hands and not a weapon while assaulting the clerk. A further description of the suspects was not available, Lott said.

The suspects left the store on foot with an undisclosed amount of money. The release states that the clerk sustained minor injuries, was treated on scene and released. Any information about the incident can be directed to the Sheriff’s Department at 601-798-5528.

An incident involving a commercial burglary occurred Friday at about 10 p.m. As a deputy was patrolling the area of Wheat’s Curve, he heard an alarm and noticed the front door to T.J.’s Country Mart was broken in. Lott said the alarm system was patched to the phone line to alert law enforcement but the deputy arrived on scene before dispatch notified the deputy.

“That’s what we call proactive patrol,” Lott said.

At that point, the owner of the store pulled up and the deputy and owner entered the store to discover two charity jars were missing from the counter. A review of the surveillance tape revealed the suspect involved in the burglary was driving a silver Suzuki XL-7 and wearing black pants and a yellow shirt, the release states. The deputy advised other deputies to keep an eye out for the vehicle.

The next day at about 12 p.m. a deputy conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle believed involved in the robbery, Lott said. The stop was conducted for no tag on U.S. 11 in McNeill, the release states. The deputy ran the vehicle identification number and found it had been stolen in Hammond, La. The driver, identified as Justin Randall, 24, 1300 Rock Ranch Rd., Carriere, was arrested.

After Randall was arrested, the deputy searched the vehicle and found a yellow shirt, black pants and a label from one of the charity jars stolen from T.J.’s Country Mart.

Randall was charged with possession of stolen property and commercial burglary.

Lott said Randall apparently took the money to buy narcotics.

Two separate arrests made Friday were the product of a tip from an anonymous source, Lott said. Deputies served a search warrant at 742 Henleyfield McNeill Rd. and found a lock box containing needles, pipes and about a gram of heroin.

“Which in heroin is a pretty good bit,” Lott said.

Deputies took Dea Hartfield, 33 and James Evans, 34, both of that address into custody for possession of a controlled substance.

Deputies arrested another person on Monday, Lott said. Investigators conducted an undercover operation in the Mill Creek Community where they bought about a gram of methamphetamine from Blainnie Joseph West, 18, 1232 Rock Ranch Rd. Once the purchase was made, deputies recovered the money and charged West with sale of a controlled substance, the release states.

No more narcotics were found on scene, Lott said.