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WATER VALLEY – Do you have a trip planned for the holidays? Yalobusha County Sheriff Jerimaine Gooch reminds Yalobusha residents who live in unincorporated areas of the county that they can request a deputy to check their residence while they are gone.
“If you are traveling and leave your home unattended, call the sheriff’s department,” Gooch reported about the longstanding protocol for his department. “Deputies will check your residence intermittently and patrol the area.”
Gooch said the home checks are not limited to holiday travels, but anytime someone will be away from their residence for several days or longer. Call the sheriff’s department at (662) 473-2722 to sign up.
The sheriff also cautioned about posting holiday travel plans on social media.
“Wait until you return home, then you can share your memories,” the sheriff recommended.
Other tips shared by the sheriff include:
• Write down the serial number for items of value, especially firearms. Gooch said that it is not unusual to investigate a burglary and the victim does not have this information.
“Without a serial number it makes it very difficult to recover your items if there is a burglary,” the sheriff said.
• Lock your residence and vehicles.
• Make sure to put a hold on your mail or have someone pick it up from your mailbox if you are not at home.
“We have had problems with people stealing mail in the past. A lot of times they are looking for checks or items of value,” Gooch continued.
• If you have internet service, there are inexpensive home security cameras options such as Blink or Ring.
“A camera can help us identify suspects if you have a problem. Cameras can also be a deterrence,” the sheriff explained.
With internet access limited in some areas of the county, Gooch said some homeowners utilize trail cameras commonly used by hunters to take pictures of game. The cameras have a motion sensor that triggers a shutter and have helped deputies solve burglaries in the county.
Citing an example, Gooch said a Christmas day burglary in 2021 was easily solved after the homeowner had put a trail camera in his yard. The same residence had been burglarized by neighbors just two months earlier, prompting the homeowner to install an inexpensive trail camera.
“Sadly it was the same suspects both times,” Gooch said about last year’s burglaries on County Road 53. “It takes time for a case to work through our judicial system, so it is not unusual to arrest the same people several times before they are sentenced to an extended period of incarceration.”
The sheriff also stressed the importance of watching out for your neighbors.
“If you see a suspicious vehicle on your neighbor’s property, call your neighbor or contact law enforcement,” Gooch recommended. “If you see something suspicious in your neighborhood, I would also recommended making a note of it or contacting our dispatchers. It never hurts for us to check it out.”
Gooch also reported the following arrests since October 25:
• Devin Smith, 27, was arrested for aggravated assault after allegedly shooting his roommate multiple times with a 22 caliber rifle on Nov. 7. The incident occurred during the early morning hours on County Road 211. Gooch reported the victim’s girlfriend drove him to Water Valley, where they met an ambulance who transported him to Baptist Memorial Hospital – North Mississippi. The victim was treated and discharged.
The sheriff said that Smith turned himself in to authorities after deputies spent several hours knocking on doors looking for him in the vicinity.
• Three felony drug arrests were made in a joint operation with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics making controlled drug buys in the county. Corey Logan was arrested for sale of fentanyl was arrested on October 25. Marvin Buck of Water Valley was arrested for the sell of cocaine, also on October 25. Beverly Campbell of Coffeeville was arrested for sale of methamphetamine on October 27.
• Jerry Patterson of Coffeeville was arrested for trespassing on Nov. 14.
• Jason Dye of Coffeeville was arrested for domestic violence on Nov. 17.
• Carol Bailey of Wallis Creek Campground was arrested for abuse of 911 (repeated calling) on Nov. 17.
• James Lake of Tallahatchie County was arrested on Nov. 18 for DUI following a traffic stop in Water Valley.
• Justin Redd was arrested on Nov. 25 for DUI following a traffic stop in Tillatoba.
• Charlie Jordan was arrested for malicious mischief on Nov. 26.
• James Baker, Jr. was arrested in Coffeeville on Nov. 28 on a Mississippi Department of Corrections warrant.