Burglaries continue in county

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Sheriff’s Office has issued an arrest warrant for a suspect in more than approximately 15 car burglaries in U.S. 61 South neighborhoods.

Sunday night he got away with at least $17 and one pistol.

But when ACSO deputies went to arrest suspect Willie Edward Knight, 45, 141 Tubman Circle, at 6:30 p.m., Monday at his house, he ran into the woods and escaped. ACSO deputies searched for Knight for two hours until dark without success.

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Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said anyone who has spotted Knight or has information about his location should call the sheriff’s office.

Sunday night’s strike was the latest in the rash of car burglaries in the area since March, including burglaries in the subdivisions of Beau Pré, The Meadows, Southfork Estates and Waverly Road.

When Sunday’s victim Betsy Mosby woke up and entered her garage on Nottaway Trail, her SUV’s window was smashed in and $17 was stolen from her cup holder — change she had left in the car from the day before.

Mosby said she was shocked because her three garage doors were closed and locked, except for a space less than a foot and a half at the bottom of one of the doors, which she kept cracked for her dog.

When Mosby called the Adams County Sheriff’s Office at 8 a.m., Monday, deputies were just around the corner investigating a similar break-in.

“He must have shimmied underneath,” Mosby said.

Deputies told Mosby the burglar probably smashed the window when the house’s air conditioning cycle began, to avoid making a loud noise.

“Whoever this is has hit this neighborhood pretty good,” Mosby said.

Although Howard Jones was up running at 5 a.m. Monday, he did not notice all three cars at his Bluff Hills Place house had been searched by a burglar until later that morning.

Jones said the two trucks and SUV at his house were purposely left unlocked as a precaution due to the burglaries in the area.

If the burglar stopped at his house, Jones did not want to pay for a broken window.

Jones said all three cars had one door ajar, as if the burglar opened it and gently pushed it closed without letting the door latch or make a noise.

The burglar did not take any valuables in two of the cars because they had none inside, but he stole a pistol from the center console of one of the trucks.

Jones said he was surprised at the nerve of the burglar, because his driveway is very well lit even between midnight and 5 a.m., when he burglary happened.

Lena Yarbrough, 13 Country Squire Road, saw firsthand how brazenly the car burglar operates.

A few weeks ago, Yarbrough was watching TV at 11 p.m. when she saw the door light in her truck go on through her French doors and her dogs started barking.

She walked outside while dialing 911 and saw a man who matches the description walking down her street.

Yarbrough said her small dog started chasing the man, who was thin, black, and wearing dark clothes including a long-sleeve shirt and pants.

She saw him from approximately 50 yards away. The man was walking, mostly in the darkness of the trees, out of the moonlight, but she did get a glimpse of him in the light for a short time.

“Has acting pretty casual. It was clear to me he wasn’t very concerned about me catching him,” Yarbrough said.

Investigators say Knight, also known as “Tight Knight,” is a registered sex offender and has a criminal record in Adams County dating back to 1977.

Knight has been a person of interest since the beginning of car burglary investigation, Mayfield said.

The ACSO recovered a gun stolen during one of the recent burglaries, which gave the sheriff’s office enough evidence to issue an arrest warrant and a search warrant for Knight.

“If anybody sees him, let us know because we need to get him off the street as quick as we can,” Mayfield said.

However, Mayfield said Knight might be armed and should not be closely approached.

Anyone with information about Knight should call ACSO at 601-442-2752.