Burglar enters tax office

Published 12:10 am Thursday, August 2, 2012

NATCHEZ — Maybe he thought he was Robin Hood there to redistribute the wealth, or maybe he just hated paying taxes, but in the end, all a burglar at the Adams County Tax Collector’s office got away with was pocket change.

In a bold burgling move, a lone suspect made his way to the building between the sheriff’s office and the district attorney’s office sometime around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. The suspect apparently forced a window at the Adams County courthouse upward and broke the latch, Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield.

After rifling through some papers in the tax collector’s office, a security camera inside the courthouse shows the burglar making his way down to the circuit clerk’s office and attempting to enter, an attempt Mayfield said was unsuccessful but left tool markings on the door.

Email newsletter signup

Tax Collector Peter Burns said the blinds in his office were bent inward where the burglar entered. The burglar apparently opened drawers and scattered some papers around.

“At most, they took a dollar in change that was personal money and not county money,” Burns said.

Access to property tax information is public record that can be accessed by computer in the chancery clerk’s office, and Burns said car tag information is protected by password, so the burglars wouldn’t have been able to steal that.

If the thief had gone for something more concrete in the form of a car tag, it wouldn’t have done him any good, Burns said.

“If they got a tag they don’t have any stickers,” he said. “For over a year now, you come to purchase a tag or renew a tag, we print the renewal tag right then, and the sticker is matched to the tag.”

Mayfield said the burglars apparently closed the window after entering, and a ACSO patrol at approximately 2 a.m. Tuesday morning did not notice anything out of the ordinary.

“If they were in there at that time, that is probably what scared them off, when that (deputy) came by shining a light on the building,” Mayfield said.

The sheriff said some evidence has been recovered from the crime scene, and he has spoken with the Adams County supervisors and administrator about installing extra lighting and cameras outside the courthouse.

ACSO patrols around the courthouse are staggered so that no one will be able to establish a routine around patrols, Mayfield said.