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Four arrested in string of car burglaries; attempted murder charges filed

VIDALIA — Vidalia law enforcement officials arrested four suspects they said are the culprits behind a string of automobile burglaries and who shot at a man in his vehicle early Saturday morning after he caught them breaking into his vehicle.

Vidalia Police arrested the four individuals from Natchez, including Damorris S. Williams, 19, and three other juveniles whose names have not been released.

Lt. Jimmy Watts of the Vidalia Police Department said police and Concordia Parish Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call at approximately 2 a.m. Saturday from the victim who saw the suspects as they were allegedly stealing a gun from his truck at his residence on Lee Street.

When the suspects saw the man, they ran and the man proceeded to chase them in his vehicle after he called law enforcement, Watts said.

“They were walking around checking door handles for unlocked vehicles and had just opened a truck door and stole a weapon out of it when the gentleman decided to step outside,” Watts said.

During the chase, shots were fired at the man and struck his vehicle without injuring him, officials said. Officers established a parameter around a field in the neighborhood, arrested all of the suspects and seized their vehicle, a black Dodge Journey.

After further searching the suspects and the vehicle, Watts said officers recovered six stolen guns as well as wallets and cash.

Watts said investigators believe those arrested may have been involved in multiple vehicle burglaries that occurred in both Natchez and Vidalia since early January.

One of the firearms recovered had been reported stolen in Natchez, Watts said.

“Everything that has been reported stolen has been recovered,” he said.

Williams and the three juveniles were each charged with attempted murder, three counts of aggravated burglary of a vehicle and two counts of simple burglary of a vehicle, Watts said.

One juvenile was also charged with possession of a stolen firearm because officers found the weapon on his person, Watts said.

Williams and the juveniles were being held by court order in the Concordia Parish Correctional Center as of Monday without bond.

“I want to recognize all of the officers involved in making these arrests,” said Vidalia Police Chief Joey Merril. “I want to comment our officers and Concordia Parish deputies and dispatchers for their excellent job of recovering all of the stolen firearms and arresting the suspects within an hour of the call.”