Watchful neighbor helps deputies track down burglary suspects
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Dec. 18, 2005 -- It pays to have nosy or observant neighbors, as a County Road 1181 resident found out Friday morning.

One neighbor's attention to a nearby home helped sheriff's deputies nab the two men who broke into the Shirley residence.

Hopkins County Chief Sheriff's Investigator Andy Chester and Investigator Lewis Tatum arrested Aaron Cole Bennett, 18, and Marcus Ryan Helton, 19, both of Sulphur Springs at 11:07 a.m. at Wal-Mart for possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, unlawful carrying of a weapon and burglary of a  habitation.

Officials were first alerted around 8:30 a.m. Friday. Deputy Rickey Roberts spoke with the eyewitness who was able to give an accurate description of the two suspects seen taking items from the residence and also identify the pair and give a good description of the vehicle they were in.

The deputy advised other officials to be on the lookout for the two suspects and the vehicle. A short while later, officers spotted the vehicle in Sulphur Springs and stopped the gray Ford in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

Investigators detected marijuana coming from the vehicle. A pat down of Helton turned up a semi-automatic handgun in his front pocket. A quick check showed the gun matched the Baretta which had just been stolen from CR 1181.

Both Helton and Bennett were placed into custody for burglary of a habitation and unlawful carrying of a weapon. The vehicle was impounded. Inside the Ford, investigators found a few grams of crystal methamphetamine and marijuana, which resulted in additional charges for possession of a controlled substance and marijuana.

An investigation into the incident was still ongoing by sheriff's officials.

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