Officers arrest suspects for residential, commercial burglary

Published 3:28 pm Friday, May 4, 2012

Two suspects were arrested recently for their alleged part in two separate burglaries.

Capt. Chad Dorn with the Picayune Police Department said both burglaries were solved on the same day they occurred.

The first break-in occurred at the Picayune softball field house on Central Avenue on April 25. At about 11:34 a.m. a softball coach arrived at the field house to find the front door open and man later identified as Craig Jones in the building digging through players’ personal belongings.

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Officers were called to the scene by the softball coach, who went to her car to call the police after seeing the suspect in the building, Dorn said. When the suspect heard the coach in the building the suspect fled the scene.

One of the officers on route to the softball field noticed a man walking near the scene wearing the same black pants and gray hoodie described by the coach and took him into custody. After the witness identified Jones, 19 of 2700 Victoria Dr., as the suspect in the crime, he was charged with commercial burglary, Dorn said.

Jones later admitted to using a pocket knife to break into the building in the hopes of stealing some items, Dorn said. Nothing was reported as missing from the incident.

A separate case involving a residential burglary was solved in part by a forgotten baby bottle. Dorn said on April 29, a resident at 412 Cedar Grove Apt. 1 reported to police that when she arrived home from running errands, she found the window to her living room broken and the door to the utility room unlocked, which she remembered locking before leaving, Dorn said.

The victim reported to officers that she found a baby bottle in her home, a significant piece of evidence since she did not have any children at the house, Dorn said. He said the victim suspected the burglar might be someone with a child who lived nearby. The suspect was identified as 26-year-old Stephanie Bendish, who resides in apartment 3 of the same building, the police captain said.

Officers attempted to talk to Bendish, but she wasn’t home at the time, Dorn said. Hours later the victim called the police department to report Bendish was home, so officers went to speak to her, Dorn said. Bendish told the officers she was gone all day, with her boyfriend, but that the bottle was hers and she had been looking for it that day. When officers spoke to her boyfriend, he said he was not with Bendish that day. Officers also noticed Bendish had scratches on her arm that may have been caused by breaking a window, Dorn said.

After being taken into custody and being confronted with the inconsistencies in her alibi, Bendish admitted she had broken into the apartment, Dorn said. The items reported missing in the burglary, a gold diamond necklace, laptop computer and digital camera, have not been located at this time, Dorn said.

Dorn said it is unclear whether Bendish had taken her child into the apartment during the burglary.