Jones County authorities break up multi-county theft ring

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Jones County authorities have arrested Jeffrey Rick Smith, Dennis Dwayne Donald, and Greg Hancock in connection with a multi-county theft ring.

Some of the crimes scattered over Jones County range from the Myrick and Glade communities along with others in Covington, Lamar, and Forrest Counties.

In Jones County a burglary suspects motorcycle broke down near a cemetery, and what he did after that is what has authorities scratching their heads.

"The suspects went to the Nora Davis Cemetery and saw the tractor parked and he broke the lock, got on a tractor, drove it to right off of Highway 184 in Jones County and there's a milk distributing company there and he parked the tractor there and then stole one of the milk trucks," said Keith Leroy, Sgt. of the Jones County Sherrif's Department.

Since mid December 2013, officials have searched the area high and low to find out who's responsible for stealing about $70,000 worth of items.

"We recovered jewelry, some furniture, antique furniture, lawn mowers, chainsaws, tools, things like that, a tractor, and milk truck," said Leroy.

The recent arrests of the three men has cleared up 12 of those burglaries, as well as six grand larcenies that stretch over a handful of Pine Belt counties. However, some of those stolen items can't be replaced.

"They sold several items online through Facebook and other ways online mostly jewelry and some cell phones and stuff they sold online smaller stuff," said Leroy.

Leroy also said that the investigation couldn't have been carried out without the help of local authorities.

"We've had great cooperation with Covington County, Lamar County, and Forrest County Sheriff's department. We all worked together at solving these crimes and uh I've got property back for all three counties also," said Leroy.

Authorities also stated that more arrests and charges will be brought forward in the future.