Kemper County, Miss. So far, four arrests have been made in what Kemper County authorities are calling an apparent burglary ring.
"They were stealing items from central heating units to refrigerators and stoves, anything of value," says Sheriff James Moore. He says the almost 20 burglaries occurred earlier this summer during both the day and night hours at residences near the coal plant site. However, according to the sheriff, none of the arrested actually worked at the plant.
"Just like with anything else, a person who wants to commit crimes will go where the picking is good," says Moore.
So far authorities have been able to recover some of the stolen items.
However, investigators believe that some of the stolen items are still in circulation, possibly at flea markets or in pawn shops. That's why Sheriff Moore is advising interested buyers to use caution if a deal seems too good to be true.
"A lot of times when people want to sell you something and the price is almost nothing you need to consider the source," says Moore, "and consider what you're buying. You could find yourself buying a stolen item or getting caught up in an operation that you don't want to be in."
Charged with the crimes so far are: 41-year-old Shane Winstead and 39-year-old Wendy Wilson Bradley, who are both from Lauderdale County, 36-year-old Leah Laird from Neshoba County, and 22-year-old Brandon Branning from Newton County. Investigators say more arrests are expected.