County offices, autos burgled

Published 11:41 pm Saturday, August 21, 2010

County offices and a number of vehicles were burglarized Thursday night by an unknown suspect or suspects.

Affected buildings include the Chancery Court court room building and the District Attorney’s office located in Poplarville. In addition nine vehicles were broken into or damaged during the night. Law enforcement officials suspect the same person or persons who broke into the county buildings also broke into or damaged the vehicles.

Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said during that night someone broke out the glass on the door to the court house building to gain entry. Once inside the offices the suspect or suspects ransacked the historic courthouse, but nothing appears to have been taken. That building houses offices for the Chancery Court, the Board of Supervisors meeting room and other county offices.

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At the District Attorney’s office, which is next door to the court house, the suspect or suspects broke out a window to gain entry. Tucker said some computers were taken from that building. At this time law enforcement officials are working to determine the nature of the break-ins.

Tucker said due to the serious nature of the crimes the department is doing everything in their power to find the suspect or suspects and make an arrest.

“We’re looking for the public’s assistance,” Tucker said.

Outside of those buildings a county vehicle and a county employee’s personal vehicle were also broken into. Out of the county vehicle the suspect or suspects took seven quarts of oil and a gas can. Out of the employee’s personal vehicle some speakers were stolen. Both vehicles were parked near the county buildings that were also broken into.

Poplarville Police investigators are investigating damage conducted to seven vehicles parked at Johnson Automotive the same night. The business is located close the affected county buildings. Detective John Kramer said nothing has been reported as stolen from the vehicles so far.

Kramer said the vehicles not only suffered broken glass but other damage described as unnecessary to gain entry to a vehicle. He said the department is confident that the suspect or suspects involved in the crimes committed at the county buildings were also involved in the damage to the vehicles at the automotive repair shop.

Tucker and Kramer said they are attempting establish a reward for information leading to the capture of the person or persons responsible.

“We would very much like to find the person or persons responsible,” Kramer said.

Anyone with information about this rash of crimes can call the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Investigations division at 601-403-2530.