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Arrests made following rash of auto thefts


According to statistics, a car can be stolen in less than 60 seconds. Delta County has experienced a rash of auto thefts and car burglaries over the past few weeks and according to the Insurance Information Institute car burglaries peak in July and August.

According to the Delta County Law Enforcement office the thefts began on Monday, July 7. A 1997 Chevrolet was stolen from a garage in western part of Cooper. It was recovered in Greenville on July 10, by the Greenville Police Department. Also on July 7, an abandoned 2002 Pontiac that was reported stolen from Greenville was recovered by Deputy Colton Spinks in Enloe.

The car bandits struck again on July 14 stealing a 2003 Chevrolet pickup and burglarizing eight other vehicles were burglarized also in the western part of Cooper.  In addition to the pickup, gasoline, CDs and prescription medication was taken from some of the vehicles.

At approximately 2 a.m. on Friday, July 18 Deputy Spinks observed three suspicious suspects exit a 1998 Pontiac and run into a residence in Enloe.  This vehicle was also later reported to be stolen out of Greenville. Zachary Bowen, Montray Smith and one other juvenile, all of Greenville, were arrested and all charged with Burglary of a Vehicle. One additional juvenile was arrested on charges of violation of probation.

The Sheriff’s Office reported that these suspects as well as two other local residents are believed to be connected to all of these crimes.

“Our investigation continues to progress on these crimes and additional charges are expected to be filed this week,” said Delta County Sheriff Ricky Smith. “It appears the suspects were stealing the vehicles, taking them for joy rides, committing other offenses with the vehicles and then abandoning the vehicles.  Additionally, the suspects may be related to at least one burglary of a residence that occurred in Cooper.  We are working closely with the Greenville Police Department, Hunt County Sheriff’s Office, Paris Police Department, Lamar County Sheriff’s Office and the Auto Task Force from Paris on these crimes.”

TIPS to prevent car theft: Don’t leave your car unlocked Never leave your car running, especially while it is unattended or unlocked Do not leave a spare key near your vehicle Never leave your windows open Park in well-lit, public areas Install an audible alarm system and a visible anti-theft device Install a vehicle immobilizer system Consider installing a GPS tracking system Don’t leave valuable personal property (like wallet, phone, laptop) visible in your car (Tips according to Allstate)

Greenville reported as many as eight vehicles over the past month and Paris has also reported multiple stolen vehicles.

“Chief Donnie Willingham, Investigator Ryan Brown, Sergeant Charla Anderson, Deputy Colton Spinks, Deputy Zach Steward, Deputy Roque Villarreal, and Deputy Adam Hall have all participated in this investigation,” said Sheriff Smith “I would like to especially recognize Deputy Colton Spinks for his alert and superior efforts in locating and arresting the suspects in these crimes.”