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Law Enforcement Report

County Crime Report

By David Howell

WATER VALLEY – Yalobusha County was one of the first counties targeted in what has become a rash of church burglaries across north and central Mississippi. Fifteen counties have reports of church break-ins totalling almost 60 churches.

    “Because of the scope of the crimes, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is coordinating a probe with the sheriff’s departments,” Major Stanley Sisk, MBI Deputy Director, told the Clarion Ledger last week as the story garnered statewide attention.

    The Clarion Ledger also interviewed Sheriff Lance Humphreys and other sheriffs, as the link between the burglaries is explored and confirmed.

    “Just over last weekend at least six churches became targets in two counties, Montgomery and Carroll,” Humphreys reported Monday.

    Like Humphreys, other sheriff’s reported the churches were in rural areas, but were easy to find due to signs. Other similar factors in the crime spree includes the targeted loot – audio equipment, and the method of entry, a kicked-in door.

    “We don’t have many leads at this time,” Humphreys said, although he said tips are starting to trickle in as more people become aware of the situation.

    Like other sheriffs in the state, Humphreys has repeatedly asked for public input as to suspicious activities although hopefully the trail has gone cold in Yalobusha.

    “We haven’t had a report of a break-in in Yalobusha since June 7,” Humphreys said. In that report, Parrish Grove Baptist Church became the eighth church in the county to have been targeted. Of those eight churches, two did not have anything reported missing. Yalobusha deputies also discovered two of the eight church break-ins during stepped up patrolling earlier this month.

    Parrish Grove Baptist Church is located near Oakland on County Road 11. Peavey speakers were reported missing in the burglary.

    On June 2, break-ins were reported at Philadelphia M.B. Church on County Road 211 and  Pleasant Hill Church on County Road 154. Audio equipment was taken from Philadelphia M.B. Church while members at Pleasant Hill did not report any missing items, according to Humphreys.

    The first church targeted in Yalobusha was Pleasant Grove M.B. Church in the Bryant community on County Road 75. Humphreys said this break-in occurred between April 28 and May 2. Two Peavey speakers were taken in this break-in.

    On May 22, a break-in was reported at Jumper’s Chapel Church on Country Road 224. This break-in was first noticed by a deputy who saw a compromised door while on patrol, according to Humphreys. Reported missing were miscellaenous items including a karoke box.

    Another break-in was also reported on May 22 when Massy Grove M.B. Church on County Road 20 was hit.

    “Nothing was reported missing in this incident,” Humphreys said. “The intruder did attempt to force entry which prompted us to add it to our list,” the sheriff continued.

    On May 18, United Misssionary Baptist Church, located east of Coffeeville, was added to the list of Yalobusha churches after members reported a break-in. A Peavey amplifier and copying machine were taken in this occurence.

    The remaining church, which was actually under construction, is located south of Coffeeville on Hwy 7. No items were reported missing in this case.

    “There were some construction tools at the scene, but apparently thieves were not interested,” Humphreys said. The glass in the front door was broken, allowing entry.

    Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s deparment or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-933-TIPS or by email to

Crime Stoppers does not want your name, just your information. All contacts will remain in the strictest confidence and none can be traced. Tipsters may be able to collect up to $1,000 for your confidential information.

Other law enforcement activity in the last week includes:

• A report of a dog bite in the Tillatoba area on June 23;

• An aggravated assault on June 18. Shots were fired after an argument about money, Humphreys said. The incident occurred near Coffeeville and a warrant has been issued.

• A case of malicious mischief reported on June 17 after a garbage can was set on fire on County Road 113.

• A report of a drive-way being blocked on County Road 161 near Tillatoba;

• A report of trespassing with charges filed.

Other calls for service include several 911 hangups, a welfare check, a report of a grass fire on County Road 85, an abandoned vehicle, two alarm calls, three domestic calls, tranport of a mental patient for a lunacy hearing, a standed motorist and unlocked two car doors.


City Crime Report

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Police still need help from the public to solve several burglaries that have occurred over the past couple of weeks. On June 9, two backpacks and various electronics were taken from a home in the 300 block of Dupuy. Another occurred June 18 in the 700 block of Wagner during which guns and electronics were taken.

The latest burglary occurred last Friday, June 20, in the 400 block of Wood St. Lt. Rick McCuan reported that electronic equipment was taken from the during the daylight break-in.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the police department or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-933-TIPS or by email to

Crime Stoppers does not want your name, just your information. All contacts will remain in the strictest confidence and none can be traced. Tipsters may be able to collect up to $1,000 for your confidential information.

Lt. McCuan reported the following additional law enforcement activity within the Water Valley City limits during the past week:

• Police arrested Billy Owens, 39, of Water Valley during a traffic stop on Calhoun St. Tuesday, June 17, for alleged possession of controlled substance (crack cocaine).

• Made four arrests for driving under suspension;

• Made an arrest for DUI first offense;

• Made an arrest for disturbing the peace, loud music in a motor vehicle;

• Took two reports of simple assault;

• Took two reports of disorderly conduct;

• Took two reports of malicious mischief;

• Took two reports of trespassing;

• Took two reports of petty larceny;

• Took a report of leaving the scene of an accident;

• Took a report of shoplifting;

• Took a report of uttering a forgery;

• Took a report of malicious mischief at the high school;

• Issued 12 traffic citations.

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