WATER VALLEY – Yalobusha County deputies have been pulling long hours and increased patrols after five churches in the county have been targeted by thieves.
Sheriff Lance Humphreys reported the churches in the county are part of a multi-county operation.
Neighboring Calhoun County has logged three church break-ins, while nearby Carroll County also has three burglaries. Two have also been reported in Montgomery County.
“Most of the time the front door has been kicked in and the audio equipment has been taken,” Humphreys said.
The latest target in Yalobusha was Jumper’s Chapel CME Church, located on County Road 432.
“A deputy actually discovered the break-in on Thursday while patrolling,” Humphreys said. Humphreys speculated the break-in may have occurred two nights earlier when another church, Mt. Liberty Baptist Church was hit.
“Mount Liberty is located just over in Calhoun County and we are working closely with the sheriff over there,” Humphreys said about the investigation.
“The burglaries in Calhoun are identical to ours,” Humphreys added.
Leads in the case have been slim, although at presstime Tuesday deputies were working a tip from a pawn shop in a neighboring town.
“We think it is a good possibility that whoever is doing this is not from the area,” Humphreys said. Each of the five churches hit in the county have either been on the highway, or are marked by highway signs. “It makes it extremely hard to catch someone if they do not have any local connections,” the sheriff also said about the investigation.
“We are asking the public help keep a lookout” Humphreys said.
Anyone who has information is urged to call the sheriff’s department at 675-2444 or 473-2722.
To submit an anonymous tip, contact Crime Stopper’s TIPS information by calling (662) 473-4935 or 1-(866) 933-TIPS (8477); or by email to:
Crime Stoppers does not want your name, just your information. All letters, calls and emails will remain in the strictest confidence.
(No phone calls or emails can be traced.) Tipsters may be able to collect up to $1,000 for your confidential information.
Water Valley Police issued 70 traffic tickets last week during the first half of the “Click It or Ticket” campaign by law enforcement in Mississippi. While not all the citations were for seat belt violations, according to Lt. Rick McCuan, patrol officers are ramping up their enforcement of traffic laws.
The program runs through June 1, said McCuan who reported the following additional law enforcement activity in the Water Valley City limits during the past week:
• Police arrested Clarence Rowsey, 55, of Water Valley Tuesday night on Eastwood Street for possession of an alleged controlled substance;
• Made five arrests for driving under suspension;
• Made two arrests for driving without a license;
• Made two arrests for simple domestic assault;
• Made an arrest for shoplifting;
• Made an arrest on a justice court warrant;
• Took a report of an auto crash;
• Took a report of an attempted burglary on Lafayette St.;
• Took a report of malicious mischief; and
• Took a report of credit card fraud.