Sheriff Seeks Tips In Break-In
COFFEEVILLE – The Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Department is reaching out to the public for tips on a burglary on March 19 at Tunnell’s Steakhouse on Hwy. 330 near the Yalobusha-Calhoun county line. The break-in was reported at the business around 5:15 a.m. when the owner arrived and discovered someone entered from the ceiling after climbing in from an outside grill area and knocking a hole in the insulation to gain access to an interior camera room.
“This business has a high-quality surveillance system, but the perpetrator or perpetrators were able to steal the camera box that contained the stored data,” Sheriff Lance Humphreys reported. With the exception of the camera box, the only missing item reported stolen was cash that was also stored in the same room.
“It appears the person or persons were in and out pretty fast and were only looking for money,” the sheriff added. “Although this store is in a rural location, this is the first problem we have had out there.”
Humphreys said deputies spent much of the day looking for evidence at the business and searching road ditches in the vicinity hoping to recover the camera box.
“At this time we have very little physical evidence,” Humphreys said. Anyone who may have information or even think they may know something about this case is urged to contact the sheriff’s department at (662) 473-2722.
In an unrelated case a Coffeeville man was charged with the theft of two motorcycles following an investigation. James Bardo was arrested on March 20 and charged with burglary and grand larceny.
The motorcycles were reported missing from County Road 227 Tuesday morning. The property owner had been out of town for several weeks working and returned home to discover the bikes had been taken from his barn.
“They were actually secured with a chain, but it had been cut,” Humphreys reported.
Humphreys reported that the day before the motorcycles were reported missing he received a call about Bardo driving a loud motorcycle up and down County Road 82 at night with no headlight.
Deputy Taylor Byford found the first motorcycle in the possession of Bobby Poynor while patrolling on County Road 87 Wednesday. Poynor has been charged with possession of stolen property after providing false information to deputies. Humphreys said the earlier tip about Bardo and information obtained when the bike was recovered, along with a search of Bardo’s residence provided enough information to charge Bardo with the crime.
The sheriff reported the second motorcycle was recovered Thursday in Grenada County after Chief Deputy Jerry Ferguson received a tip from a citizen.
James Watson, the owner of the motorcycles, told the Herald he first noticed his dog had been beaten when he got home Monday night. When he went to his barn the next morning and discovered the theft, he figured out what happened to his dog.
“I was furious,” Watson said, adding that the bikes were valued around $1,000 each, but had sentimental value because they originally belonged to his step-father.
Watson treated deputies to coffee and donuts Friday morning in appreciation for their work.
Three felony drug arrests were made over the weekend by deputies who were patrolling in the Tillatoba and Oakland area. William Roberson of Duck Hill and Sherry Bias of Tillatoba were both charged with possession of methamphetamine, less than two grams, following a traffic stop Saturday for improper equipment.
Deputy Byford made the traffic stop after observing the vehicle near I-55 without tag lights or using a turn signal, according to the sheriff. During the stop Yoda, the department’s K-9, alerted on the vehicle. During a search of the vehicle deputies found a meth pipe in the console and Roberson admitted to having the pipe and methamphetamine. Bias allegedly attempted to discard a piece of foil containing meth in front of the patrol car before admitting the drugs belonged to her. Deputy Thomas West also assisted in the stop and a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado was seized.
In the third drug arrest Shawn Dale Willis of Oakland was charged with possession of crack cocaine following a traffic stop on Hwy. 51 for improper equipment. The sheriff reported West and Deputy Anderson made the stop around 10:35 p.m. Sunday night after Willis’ vehicle had a headlight out.
Willis gave the deputies consent to search his vehicle and a small flashlight containing the cocaine was discovered hidden in the frame of the windshield wiper. Willis claimed the drugs, according to the deputies’ report.