Sheriff’s Department arrests one, seeking two in separate cases

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 28, 2014



Deputies solved two separate cases through investigative techniques; one was a grand larceny while the second involved the theft of handguns later used in a Hattiesburg armed robbery.

Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said the grand larceny case was reported on June 11 by an elderly man who hired a woman to be his caretaker five days prior.

The man told investigators that he suspected the woman, identified as 45-year-old Paula M. Frierson, of 614 N. Beech St., had taken $1,600 in cash from a lock box in his home, Tucker said.

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Additionally, the woman cashed a signed check that she claimed would be used to pay the light bill, but when the man checked with the power company he discovered the light bill had never been paid, Tucker said. Investigation into the check found Frierson wrote, “housekeeping services” in the memo line when cashing the check, Tucker said.

Frierson also used the man’s debit card to purchase items at a local gas station two times without his authorization, Tucker said. Prescription medication in the home was also reported as missing, Tucker said.

Frierson was arrested on Wednesday for grand larceny and is currently being held at the county jail on a $10,000 bond, Tucker said.

A residential burglary was solved through the identification of a handgun stolen from the home. Investigator Randy Messa said the crime was reported on May 23, after the resident noticed their home on Olive Church Road near Lumberton had been broken into. Messa said firearms, jewelry and other personal items were stolen from the home during the burglary.

As he investigated the crime, he was informed by neighbors that a man with a history of theft and drug abuse lived nearby, but the investigation found the man was already in rehab. However, two of his friends had recently been arrested for an armed robbery in Hattiesburg, Messa said.

Messa called the Hattiesburg Police Department, who was able to provide the serial number of the handgun used, which matched that of a gun stolen from the Lumberton home.

Messa said the vehicle used in the robbery contained several items listed as stolen in the residential burglary, leading Messa to identify two suspects.

However, the suspects, identified as 19-year-old Houston Brewer of 435 Highway 43 South, Lot 48, Columbia and 23-year-old Jai Wayne Rivet of 7506 Moneray, Oklahoma City, Okla., had already bonded out of the Hattiesburg jail, Messa said.

Messa issued warrants, which were signed by the judge on Thursday, for both suspects on the charge of residential burglary.

“That’s why it’s good for people to record the serial numbers on firearms and electronics,” Tucker said. “That’s what connected this case to another crime in another city.”

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Brewer and Rivet is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at 601-795-3050.