PD solves three cases

Published 12:25 am Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The suspects in a strong arm robbery, a stolen purse at Wal-Mart and the burglary of a grocery store all have been taken into custody.

The strong arm robbery is reported to have taken place at Bree’s Mini Mart on U.S. 11 on Saturday at about 8:50 p.m., according to a press release from the Picayune Police Department. At that time, the suspect entered the store and approached the clerk as though to purchase a small item.

As the clerk opened the register, the suspect grabbed for the money inside the till and ordered the clerk to the back room of the store, the release states. The suspect, later identified as Barry Brauner, ran from the store.

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Picayune Police officers responded to the scene and set up a perimeter around the area to search for Brauner. He was found in a wooded area south of the business near railroad tracks. When officers approached him, they saw Brauner throw something. After he was apprehended, at about 9:41 p.m., the officers searched the area where Brauner discarded the object. They located the object and determined it to be the alleged stolen money.

Brauner, 33, of 9 Hooverville, Poplarville was charged with strong arm robbery, disorderly conduct and public drunk.

Deputy Chief David Ervin said Brauner did not use a weapon during the robbery.

A stolen purse in Wal-Mart led to the arrest of 19 year-old Wyatt E. Mitchell, of 206 W. Sycamore Rd. Ervin said the incident took place Wednesday at about 6 p.m. while a customer was shopping in the linen section. She apparently had her back turned toward her cart, where she had placed her purse in the child seat. When she turned to look at the cart again, she saw a man, later identified as Wyatt, fleeing with her purse.

The victim called out that her purse had been taken. Wyatt was seen running towards the sporting goods section and eventually ran through the garden section where a Wal-Mart employee recognized Wyatt as a former employee. A customer also noticed Wyatt and chased him out the store and saw Wyatt get into Ford F-150, Ervin said.

Officers located Wyatt’s address and apprehended him there at about 10:10 p.m. that same day. He was charged with petit larceny and the purse was recovered, missing only three credit cards which had already been canceled, Ervin said.

Officers also arrested a suspect for the Sept. 28, 2008 Discount Warehouse Grocery burglary. A release from the department states the burglary took place that day at about 4:15 a.m. The surveillance system in the store recorded video of the suspect. Investigators have since been working to locate the suspect.

A recent traffic stop on Tuesday at the intersection of U.S. 11 S. and W. Canal St. at 11:11 a.m. led to the arrest of 42 year-old Charles Ray Smith of 515 Maxwell St. He was charged with driving with a suspended license, contempt of court warrant and commercial burglary, possession of paraphernalia, possession of untaxed whiskey and on a hold for MDOC.

Smith was identified using what the video captured when the burglary committed and investigators had been trying to question him, but were unable to contact him.

“Every attempt to make contact with him apparently failed,” Ervin said.

When investigators saw Smith traveling through town, they conducted an investigative stop on him, where evidence was found to press the additional charges.

Smith is also a person of interest in a more recent burglary of the same grocery store, Ervin said. Investigators have not charged him at this time. They are still forming a case to determine if there is evidence to find probable cause to name him as a suspect.