February 12, 2009
STARKVILLE â€" The Starkville Police Department has kept busy in recent months as a wave of burglaries and thefts plagued the city, but investigators made a bit of headway over the past week by arresting several suspects.
Two Eupora men were arrested Feb. 6 and now face felony charges for their roles in the December theft of a commercial trailer. Clinton Jacob Cook, 18, has been charged with one count of grand larceny, while James Chad Ballard, 20, is facing one count of accessory after the fact. Cook allegedly stole the trailer from a home on Gillespie Street, SPD Detective Aaron Thompson said. It is unclear what role Ballard played in the crime.
The case against the pair began when Webster County Sheriff Phillip Smith contacted Starkville police and said he had information about several people who might have been involved in crimes in Starkville. One of the individuals was Cook. Investigators with SPD, the Webster County Sheriffâ€™s Department and Mississippi State University Police Department worked together to crack the case, Thompson said.
Cook is under investigation for additional thefts in the Starkville area, including several incidents on the MSU campus, Thompson said.
In an unrelated case, Starkville police arrested an 18-year-old male for a string of vehicle break-ins that date back to early 2008, Lt. Maurice Johnson said.
Justin Deyhonquea, of Starkville, is facing six charges of auto burglary, although additional charges are pending, Johnson said.
Deyhonquea was spotted about 5:30 a.m. Monday breaking into a vehicle outside an apartment complex on Carver Road. A tenant heard his car alarm going off, looked outside and saw Deyhonquea dressed in dark clothing, Johnson said. Another tenant, whose vehicle was broken into last week, also heard the alarm Monday morning and spotted Deyhonquea.
When Deyhonqueaâ€™s newest victim came outside to confront him, he fled. The tenant then followed Deyhonquea and was able to give police the manâ€™s approximate location, Johnson said. Officers surrounded the area and eventually found Deyhonquea. During the course of the investigation, police charged Deyhonquea with five additional auto burglaries around the city.
Starkville police in recent weeks also arrested two juveniles suspected of breaking into vehicles and homes.
Residents should leave their car doors locked, Johnson said, warning how vulnerable the average citizen can be to criminals looking for an easy score.
â€œThey go around looking for opportunities,â€ Johnson said of the criminals. â€œPurses, money, iPods, computers â€" any stuff laying out on the seat. They can break into a vehicle and be gone in 30 seconds.â€