Suspect who stole from church, casino office arrested

Published 12:13am Wednesday, July 3, 2013

NATCHEZ — He tried to steal from virtue, and he tried to steal from vice, but eventually God — or at least the police — caught up with one alleged burglar this week.

Natchez police booked James Bennett, 45, 504 N. Union St., on a charge of burglary Sunday. Natchez Police Detective Jerry Ford said Bennett is suspected in burglaries at both St. Mary Basilica and the Magnolia Bluffs Casino corporate offices on Main Street.

Ford said Bennett allegedly entered St. Mary Basilica June 21 by removing a window, entering an area of the church where he found a bank bag containing a church credit card and an undetermined amount of cash.

The window that was removed was not one of the basilica’s stained-glass windows, Ford said.

Bennett allegedly used the credit card at a number of local businesses, Ford said.

The second burglary for which Bennett has been charged happened June 29, when he reportedly found an unlocked door at the Magnolia Bluffs offices, entered the building and allegedly took a number of small items from the offices, Ford said.

Bennett allegedly took one door off its hinges and entered another part of the building looking for other items, Ford said.

In both instances, Ford said the suspect was identified by officers reviewing video surveillance footage.

The detective said Bennett could face other charges, and is suspected in several automobile burglaries in the area.