Thursday, December 17, 2009
Thefts on rise; be on watch
By SUE WATSON
With the coming of the Christmas season and also with a terribly depressed economy, Sheriff Kenny Dickerson urges residents to keep an eye out for their neighbors’ homes and report any suspicious vehicles or individuals immediately to 911.
Burglaries are on the rise more than ever and some individuals are even resorting to violent crimes when they commit burglaries, he said. Homeowners are asked to park their ATVs behind their homes or inside a locked shed when possible and to never leave the four-wheeler sitting in the front yard with the keys in it. Criminals themselves have told law officers how they would drive through neighborhoods looking for easy things to take either on the first spotting of an easy grab or later once the residence had been well scouted, he said.
Homeowners are encouraged to keep a duplicate list of the serial numbers of all equipment and guns and descriptions of unique markings such as spots that were repaired or scratches and dents. Since so many trailers are being produced and they are so easy for criminals to hook up to and drive off with, Dickerson said it is also a good idea to scratch or paint the driver’s license or any other marking on the underside of properties like trailers.
When a resident has been hit with a burglary, a copy of the items stolen and the markings, descriptions or serial numbers can be handed to a deputy immediately. The item can then be run on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Crime Information Center to see if and when stolen items may turn up as a piece of property recovered by law enforcement, he said.
Prevention of theft by reporting suspicious activity and vehicles to 911 is worth many times over the cure of finding suspects and putting them through the court system and jails which are already over running capacity, he said.
Dickerson reported two cases developing, one of grand larceny theft of four-wheelers and the other of attempted uttering of forgery.
Dewan Malone, 21, of 163 Marcon Farms Road and Katari Martin, 23, of 3246 Cayce Road - both addresses in the Byhalia area - were arrested and charged with two counts of grand larceny December 10, Dickerson said. Two four-wheelers were recovered that had been stolen from a residence on Whippoorwill Road, he said. Bond was set at $5,000 each and the two were released.
Two men giving Memphis addresses were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit a crime on November 25, the sheriff said.
Robert Howard Pennington, 22, and Shamari Johnson, 31, both of 7265 Newling Drive, Memphis, Tenn., were arrested and charged with conspiracy to cash a counterfeit check at Walmart locally, he said.
“The two above suspects were arrested when they attempted to cash a counterfeit check at Walmart,” he said. “These suspects left the store after failing to cash the check and they were stopped by Marshall County deputies on U.S. 78 and arrested.
“In their possession were 18 more fraudulent checks and six different I.D.s with the checks. A follow-up investigation led to the arrest of a third suspect in Memphis by the Memphis Police Department and Secret Service.”
Michael Washington, 23, of 4409 Cedar Park, Memphis, Tenn., was arrested December 14 in Memphis in connection with the investigation and authorities there seized computers, scanners and printers that could be used for making counterfeit checks and I.D.s, Dickerson said.
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