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Brookhaven police hunting burglary suspects — Cops getting public’s help in some cases

Brookhaven police are searching for a pair of thieves after receiving several reports and video evidence of break-ins in the Old Town community.

Brookhaven Police Chief Kenneth Collins said officers are looking for two suspects in a pair of early-morning complaints of auto and residential burglaries at two locations around Kraner Lane. Images are fuzzy, but appear to show a suspect attempting to crack into the passenger door of a silver car parked in a driveway while an accomplice waits in the background.

“We’re getting some leads and we’re checking them out now,” Collins said. “Hopefully, with the help of the community, we can get some of this solved. We need to lock our vehicles — even if they’re in our own driveway. This happens all the time.”

Collins declined to say what was stolen from the homes and cars. He said the department is working a handful of leads provided by the community.

“The participation from Brookhaven has been awesome,” he said. “It makes no difference who’s the chief, who’s the sheriff — if law enforcement and the community don’t work together, how can you expect things to get better? When people come together and work with law enforcement, we get cases solved.”

Collins said tips from the community allowed police on Sunday to arrest 39-year-old Jesse Scott Smith, who is charged with murder in the Saturday shooting death of John A. Bennett. Numerous leads on Smith’s location were turned into cops, who got the assistance of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department to run them all down.

Community involvement has been less in two other recent murders — Collins said investigations continue into the death of Tony Magee, 19, who was found shot dead in his car early March 20 near the intersection of East Monticello and Green Street; and Harry Adams, 58, gunned down in his bedroom at 312 Industrial Park Road on April 11.

“There’s just so many different possibilities and scenarios in (Magee’s) case,” Collins said. “We’ve already questioned 25 people, and they’re getting to where they stop talking now. They’re hiding from us. It’s like looking for a needle in a hay stack.”

Collins said the Adams case is going better, with some early, promising leads based on evidence from the state crime lab. Police need more help from the public in both cases.

“Without the people helping out here in the public, we’re just gonna have to catch them, and sometimes it takes time,” he said.

As always, Collins urged anyone with knowledge of any the cases to call him at 601-833-2424, or call Crime Stoppers at 601-823-0150. Police ask residents to remain watchful in their neighborhoods and report suspicious activity immediately.