WATER VALLEY – A man wanted for questioning in connection with a string of Dollar General burglaries in north Mississippi was arrested early this morning outside Water Valley.
Sheriff Lance Humphreys reported a deputy pulled over Jason Alonzo Washington, of Jackson, and two other men for suspicious activity. The trio were stopped around 2 a.m. after a deputy on patrol saw the vehicle cruising slowly through Coffeeville.
An arrest warrant had been issued for Washington in connection to a Dollar General store in Forrest County, according to the sheriff. Authorities also believe Washington could be connected to similar crimes at dozens of Dollar General stores.
“Dollar General loss prevention told Forrest County that they have over 40 break-ins in the last few months,” Humphreys said.
Deputy Thomas West and Constable Brent Anderson made the traffic stop after West they observed the vehicle in Coffeeville driving slow.
West and Anderson followed the Chevrolet Impala as it left Coffeeville and headed north on Hwy. 7. They stopped the vehicle near Water Valley for a switched license tag. The occupants, all three African American men, were wearing black clothes.
Humphreys said all three men also had gloves and said tools that could be used for burglary were also inside the vehicle. One of the men had been released from custody from the Mississippi Department of Corrections in November on a possession of stolen property charge.
“The only identifying paperwork he had was his prison release papers,” Humphreys said.
The three men were traveling with a sledge hammer and other instruments. Humphreys said. He believes these are the tools the thieves could be using in the Dollar General break-ins to open the safe.
Ironically, one of the suspect’s phones also had the GPS coordinates for the Dollar General store in Coffeeville keyed in.
“That was a good break,” Humphreys said.