By David Howell
A break-in at Hopewell Baptist Church on County Road 95 last Thursday, January 9, has got county law enforcement speculating if there is a connection to last summer’s crime spree where churches in a 15-county area became targeted for electronic equipment.
“I can’t say it is connected and I can’t say that it is not connected,” Sheriff Lance Humphreys said last Thursday’s incident where a thief, or thieves, made off with electronic equipment and other miscellaneous items from the church.
Almost a dozen churches in Yalobusha were targeted in the crime spree last summer that included 14 other northern and central Mississippi counties.
The break-ins garnered state-wide attention and prompted the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) to join the investigation as leads were checked and rechecked. Then the trail ran cold.
“We have not had any problems with churches since last July until this incident,” Humphreys confirmed.
“I called MBI and they have not had any activity since last fall,” Humphreys said.
“The method of entry in last Thursday’s case was the same as it was back in the summer,” Humphreys also said about the incident. The break-in is thought to have occurred between 8:30 that morning and lunchtime.
“We had a witness drive by that morning and said everything was fine,” Humphreys said.
Deputies quickly fanned out and checked other rural churches in the county. Checks were also made during the weekend, according to the sheriff.
An attempt to break in another church in neighboring Calhoun County was also made the same day, according to the sheriff.
Other law enforcement activity in the past week includes:
• A report of domestic violence on County Road 294 on January 13. Arrest warrants will be issued.
• A report of domestic violence on January 11 on County Road 15.
• A report of a vehicle burglary on County Road 227. A radio was taken from the truck, according to Humphreys.
• A report of a dog bite at the Boatlanding area on January 10. A girl was selling girl scout cookies when she was bitten near Pine Ridge Circle.
• A report of domestic violence on County Road 60 on January 10. One person was arrested in this incident.
WATER VALLEY – Police are investigating a burglary at the Spring Hill North Church on Railroad Street. The incident was reported Saturday at 7:54 p.m. A small amount of cash was taken, according to Lt. Rick McCuan.
Anyone with information is asked to call the police department at 473-2933 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-933-TIPS or by email to TIPS@YalobushaCounty.net.
Lt. McCuan reported the following additional law enforcement activity within the Water Valley City limits during the past week:
• Made two arrests for driving under suspension;
• Made two arrests on Justice Court warrants;
• Made an arrest for no drivers license;
• Made an arrest for possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle;
• Made an arrest for telephone profanity;
• Made an arrest for disorderly conduct;
• Made an arrest for public drunk;
• Took two reports of petty larceny;
• Took two accident reports;
• Took a report of simple domestic assault;
• Issued a citation for disturbing the peace, loud music in a motor vehicle;
• Issued 32 traffic citations;
• Investigated two vehicle crashes.
Hervey Is Killed In Two Vehicle Accident
LAFAYETTE – R. V. “Little Joe” Hervey of Water Valley was killed Jan. 6 when he collided with another vehicle at the Hwy. 7/9 split between Water Valley and Oxford.
Hervey, 45, was headed northbound on Hwy. 7 when he turned in front of a vehicle driven by Jeremiah Wells, 27, also of Water Valley, according to Sgt. Leslie White of the Mississippi Highway patrol. The accident was reported at 6:56 p.m.
Wells, who was southbound on Hwy. 7 toward Bruce, was moderately injured and transported to Baptist Hospital in Oxford.