Two arrested in string

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 15, 2005

of Valley Grande burglaries

By Cassandra Mickens

The Selma Times-Journal

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The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department arrested two people Monday night in connection with a string of burglaries in Valley Grande.

Rayford Phillips, 25, was charged with three counts of first-degree burglary and three counts of third-degree burglary. Bail was set at $45,000. Phillips was released on bond Tuesday afternoon. He was recently released from state prison on Oct. 22.

Anthony Johnson, 27, was charged with one count of first-degree burglary and one count of third-degree burglary. Bail was set at $15,000. Johnson remains in the Dallas County Jail.

Dallas County Chief Deputy Randy Pugh said Valley Grande residents continually spotted a suspicious vehicle in the community, a gray-colored Chevrolet Corsica.

For the past three weeks, county deputies have heavily patrolled the area and they &8220;finally got a break Monday morning,&8221; Pugh said.

Around 10:30 a.m., Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman Jr. was on patrol in Valley Grande when he spotted the vehicle that matched witness descriptions. Huffman called in deputies, and followed the vehicle to the Big Easy Jewelry and Pawn Shop on Highland Avenue.

The suspects proceeded to walk in the pawnshop and were paid for the stolen property, which included several pieces of electronic equipment.

Dallas County Capt. Roy Freine said the sheriff’s department was not 100 percent certain they had their culprits at that time.

An estimated 10 to 12 burglaries have occurred in the Valley Grande community, Pugh said. Pugh said the string of burglaries

were sudden and no burglaries were reported in the Valley Grande area between Oct. 1 and Oct. 20.

The Sheriff’s Department has recovered several items from the burglaries that are now being housed at the Court House Annex downtown. Along with electronic equipment, weapons were stolen as well.

Huffman said the stolen weapons have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system and urges anyone who may be in possession of the weapons to turn them in.

Huffman said the sheriff’s department is still busy conducting interviews and recovering property.

Huffman hopes this incident will make residents more cautious of their surroundings.