One arrest made in recent burglary spree

Published 6:58 pm Thursday, May 20, 2010

An alleged local burglar’s recent string of late-night successes ended in defeat Tuesday evening when city police officers caught him in the act.

Brookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson said Matthew Nelson, 23, of 900 Williams St. Apt. 81, was busted inside City Mart No. 2 on North Jackson Street at 10:20 p.m., his alleged robbery attempt still in progress when officers descended on the store on a confidential tip.

Once arrested and questioned him, Nelson admitted to a total of nine burglaries at eight locations over the past two months, with most locations clustered around Highway 51, Henderson said.

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Besides the confession, the chief said physical evidence and security videos are expected to tie Nelson to burglaries at the Exxon/Subway, Northbrook Center, Lee’s Small Engines, Lincoln Truck Parts, Co-Lin Feed and Seed, Wand Seed Store and two robberies at Montgomery Electric.

“We knew he was involved in the burglaries, but he was just like a ghost. We couldn’t catch him,” Henderson said. “He moved late at night. Locating him was the biggest problem, because he doesn’t really have a place he stays, he moved around.”

Nelson is being held in the Lincoln County Jail and will face arraignment in city court Tuesday, Henderson said. He said Nelson was recently released from prison after serving a prior sentence for burglary, and the Mississippi Department of Corrections may also weigh in on his latest spree.

Henderson said Nelson broke into the stores by knocking the glass out of windows and front doors and stole mostly small items instead of cash.

“It was always something you could sell or trade,” he said.”Sometimes, he didn’t get anything. A lot of it was just more property damage than the stuff he was able to get.”

The value of Nelson’s hauls is unknown, as the case is still under investigation, Henderson said.