At least one building burglary and 40 car burglaries could be cleared soon, thanks to an alert Mount Vernon police officer and work of local investigators, police reported Wednesday.
The break in the rash of burglaries perpetrated in Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County over the last few weeks came around 1 a.m. Tuesday, when Mount Vernon Police Officer Josh Daily spotted a man standing near a car in a Franklin County neighborhood.
“I can’t say enough about Mount Vernon Police Officer Daily, who went above the normal call of duty, asking questions and checking things out, which led to this break in these cases,” Sulphur Springs Police Investigator Monty Tipps said Wednesday morning. “We’ve had about 50 burglaries and have been doing extra patrols to try to catch the person or people doing it. Officer Daily gave us that break.”
The man, identified as 22-year-old Cecil Eldon Martin of Sulphur Springs, had a magazine clip for a pistol in his pocket. The Taurus 9mm pistol in question was located on the ground outside the car.
The serial numbers on the gun were checked against those entered into the state and national data bank, where reports of stolen property is recorded.
“It was one stolen out of Sulphur Springs, taken out of a vehicle on Hollie Circle,” Tipps said. “It was also determined a laptop taken in that same area as the Hollie Circle car burglary was also in his possession. The owners had written down the serial numbers of the property and were able to give it to us. They were entered into TCIC/NCIC. I can’t stress how important it is for people to write down serial numbers for their valuables.”
Martin was taken into custody for felon in possession of a firearm and possession of stolen property and transported to Franklin County jail. Sulphur Springs police and Hopkins County sheriff’s investigators were alerted of the arrest and property recovery. Further investigation by the officers involved in the cases led them back to a residence on Carter Street, where Martin had reportedly been living. Officers obtained evidence to secure a search warrant for the premises, and executed it Tuesday afternoon.
During the search, officers located and recovered a lot of items which had been reported stolen during the rash of vehicle burglaries, “including credit cards, a safe, tools, clothing and other items.” Officers also recovered a collapsible baton taken from an officer’s personal vehicle last week as well as several pieces of identification belonging to people other than Martin.
“This should clear a big part of the cases. Chief Investigator Lewis Tatum with Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office and other investigators and officers there are looking at items that are believed to have originated from a burglar in Como. There was evidence from the Como burglary found. We are looking at getting property back for those victims,” Tipps said.
The investigation into the car, home and building burglaries is ongoing. In fact, investigators from both the police and sheriff’s office were out at lunch time Wednesday at a location in the county following up on leads which investigators believe could result in recovery of additional stolen property and clear even more cases.
At 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Cecil Eldon Martin was the only person arrested in connection with the string of burglaries which began a few weeks ago in Sulphur Springs and had spread outside the city into Hopkins County and possibly into Franklin County. He remained in Franklin County jail on the possession of firearm by a felon and possession of stolen property Wednesday morning.
Local officers were working Wednesday to obtain warrants for his arrest for the Carter Street home burglary which resulted in the safe being stolen and anticipate filing on him for at least 40 misdemeanor counts of vehicle burglaries, Tipps said.
As for the stolen property recovered Tuesday, Tipps says,“We want the victims to get their property back, and are still inventorying the items and talking to others who may be involved or have knowledge that will help us with this.”
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