Burglary ring case involved five suspects

Published 3:19 am Sunday, November 1, 2009

Investigation into reports of several county burglaries has led to the arrest of five suspects.

A joint investigation between the Pearl river County Sheriff’s Department and the Poplarville Police Department has led to the arrest of several suspects believed to be involved in a recent string of burglaries.

Sheriff’s Department Chief Investigator Donnie Saucier said the investigation began on Monday when investigators with both departments went to a home in Poplarville after receiving a report from a homeowner that his son had come home with some electronic equipment the father suspected may have been stolen.

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When the investigators went to the home and the father gave them consent to search, the investigators found the electronics along with evidence and other items that linked the juvenile to several robberies that have occurred in the county.

Four suspects were ultimately arrested — two juveniles 15 and 16 years old, and 18 year-old Nicholas King, of 17 Balmoral Dr., Poplarville and Joshua Gaskin, 18, of 81 Bilbo Holsten Rd. King was charged with three counts of residential burglary with more charges possible, pending further investigation. Gaston was charged with one count of residential burglary and trafficking in stolen firearms.

The two juveniles were charged with four counts each of residential burglary. Those charges will be handled by the juvenile court, Saucier said.

As the investigation continues, the juveniles could face additional charges for other burglaries in the county and in Poplarville, Saucier said.

Saucier said the physical and forensic evidence collected in the investigation played a key role in tying the suspects to the crimes. Part of that investigation led Detective James Buie to Marion County, where on Thursday he found that some of the stolen property from the burglaries apparently had been sold to Jamel Aikens, 19, of 83 Bachus Rd., Columbia. There Buie, assisted by Marion County Sheriff’s Department personnel, arrested Aikens and recovered several of the stolen items. Aikens was linked to the actions of the two juveniles and charged with receiving stolen property.

During the operation the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department was able to recover five shotguns, a .45-caliber pistol, a Playstation 3 and three controllers, several laptops, two digital cameras, 15 boxes of ammunition, a compound bow and two video cameras, Saucier said.

The investigation so far has been able to charge the suspects with burglaries at residences on Harry Sones Road on Oct. 5, Derby Whitesand Road on Oct. 5, Meadow Hills Road on Oct. 19, Balmoral Drive on Oct. 23, North Highland Drive on Oct. 26, Dupont Hart’s Chapel Road on Oct. 26 and U.S. Highway 11 in Poplarville on June 18.

Saucier estimates the value of property recovered so far totals about $10,000.

“Even though they were young offenders, this is a burglary ring in the truest sense,” Saucier said. “We hope to recover more property so it can get back to the owners.”

Evidence collected in the investigation also showed the ring allegedly involved the sale of stolen firearms across state lines. Saucier said Poplarville Investigator John Kramer and Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Shane Egger assisted in the investigation.