Four arrested for vandalism
Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2017
Investigation in the vandalism of more than a dozen cars led to the arrest of four juveniles and the establishment of a suspect involved in a commercial burglary.
The alleged crimes took place between May 7 and May 8.
Picayune Police Department Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri said the vandalism entailed spray-painting phallic images and other graffiti on 14 vehicles in residential areas and the use of a rock to break out a rear windshield on one of the vehicles, Magri said.
Most of the affected vehicles were parked in neighborhoods along East and West Canal streets, South Haugh Avenue and South Steele Avenue.
A person of interest was identified using surveillance footage obtained from a local business, leading the investigators to speak to a 16-year-old male juvenile.
Magri said that when investigators went to his mother’s home, located on South Haugh Avenue, on May 11, investigators obtained enough evidence to get a search warrant for the home and his cellphone. In that search, the investigators recovered a device allegedly stolen during a commercial burglary at the Boost Mobile store nearby, and recovered images from his cellphone of the damaged front door to the business as well as pictures of the vandalized vehicles, Magri said. The burglary allegedly took place May 5.
While speaking with the suspect, he attempted to rush past the officers guarding his cellphone in an attempt to destroy it, but was stopped, Magri said.
The rest of the stolen property from the commercial burglary is still being located.
Three other suspects were identified as a result of the investigation, a 15-year-old male, a 13-year-old female and 18-year-old Jaquantay McGowan, of 2604 Jackson Landing Road. All four suspects were arrested on May 11, for 14 counts of malicious mischief, two of which were felonies due to the extent of the damage to two vehicles, Magri said.
McGowan was arrested on May 24.
The 16-year-old male was additionally charged with commercial burglary, Magri said.
While the 16-year-old male was being booked, he was ordered to be detained by the youth court. As corrections officers attempted to bring him to the transport vehicle, the suspect attempted to flee on foot, but was captured, leading to his additional arrest for the offense of felonious escape, Magri said.
Police Chief Bryan Dawsey said he would like to commend his investigative team for their hard work in solving the case.