Police employees’ personal vehicles broken into at the jail, city vehicle stolen

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, June 19, 2013

One suspect has been arrested for multiple vehicle burglaries and two stolen vehicles.

George McCollum, 31, of 1201 Kingsway Dr., was arrested Monday morning and charged with two counts of grand larceny auto, three counts vehicle burglary, possession of stolen property, suspended driver’s license and on a hold for Mississippi Department of Corrections because he was on probation.

On Monday, at approximately 5:01 a.m., Picayune police officers were dispatched to West Canal Street and Ruby Street in reference to a stolen vehicle, said Jeremy Magri, assistant to the chief of police.

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The vehicle was identified as being owned by the City of Picayune.

While officers spoke with the Picayune city employee, they were notified at approximately 5:30 a.m. that a vehicle in the Picayune Criminal Justice Center parking lot had been moved.

The vehicle belonged to an on-duty police officer. “The suspect tried to get away in it and managed to get stuck on the curb leaving the lot,” Magri said.

“After the car got stuck, McCollum took off on foot towards West Canal Street,” he said.

Before attempting to leave in the officer’s personal vehicle, McCollum broke into vehicles in the lot and stole Mace and keys from two vehicles, said Magri.

“McCollum fled the area,” Magri said. “A ‘be on the look out’ was issued for the suspect and the city vehicle to surrounding agencies.”

A short time later, Picayune police officers were advised that a sheriff’s deputy spotted a vehicle matching the description traveling on U.S. Highway 11 North.

A Highland Community Hospital security officer then reported observing a suspect, matching the description given in the “be on the look out,” walking on U.S. Hwy. 11N, just south of Richardson/Ozona Road, said Magri.

“Picayune police officers responded to the scene, at approximately 6:03 a.m., and recovered several items in McCollum’s possession that had been reported stolen during the vehicle burglaries,” Magri said.

McCollum was arrested, charged and is being held in the Picayune Criminal Justice Center.

The vehicle was recovered shortly after.

McCollum was on probation from an arrest that occurred Friday where he was charged with reckless driving, suspended driver’s license, resisting arresting by fleeing, failure to yield to blue lights and sirens and no insurance.