Theft of items leads to charges

Published 6:59 am Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Picayune Police Department made three arrests stemming from a shoplifting charge, said Jeremy Magri, assistant to the chief.

“On Dec. 28, 2013 at 10:40 a.m., officers were dispatched to a local grocery store in regards to a complaint of shoplifting,” said Magri. “Upon arrival, officers spoke with the complainant who stated they had detained a shoplifter later identified as 30-year-old Tony A. Mitchell of 206 West Sycamore Rd. in Picayune.

“The complainant stated Mitchell was observed putting a box of instant cold compress, which contains ammonia nitrate, into his jacket. The complainant stated Mitchell had attempted to exit the store without paying for the merchandise, at which time he was stopped and escorted back to store.”

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At this time Mitchell was arrested for shoplifting, Magri said.

“Upon speaking with a clerk, the officer was advised that Mitchell had an accomplice with him in store, later identified as 29-year-old Benjamin Havard of 416 Goodyear Blvd. in Picayune. The clerk stated Havard had purchased a can of Drano, and then exited the store where he was observed placing Drano in a vehicle parked out front. The officers then spoke with Havard, who denied purchasing Drano.”

The officers then located the vehicle, where they observed a third accomplice waiting in it who was identified as 33-year-old Martin Sciambra of #12 Frog Pond Rd. in Carriere, Magri said.

“Upon approaching the vehicle, officers observed him to be hiding an object between the driver’s seat and the center console, at which time the officer observed it to be a bottle of Drano,” Magri said. “At this time, Havard and Sciambra were taken into custody for conspiracy to possess precursor chemicals. Mitchell was also charged with conspiracy to possess precursor chemicals in addition to previous shoplifting charges.

The chemicals recovered are commonly used in production of crystal meth.”

The three suspects were transported to Criminal Justice Center where they were booked and incarcerated, said Magri.