Petal man caught allegedly robbing car parked at Wal-Mart

PETAL, MS (WDAM) - A Petal man is behind bars, charged with auto burglary.

Petal authorities arrested Eric Rainey, 19, after he allegedly stole items from a car parked at the Petal Wal-Mart.

Authorities said a store employee claimed to have returned to their car when they saw Rainey rummaging through their belongings.

The suspect ran into a wooded area near the store, and, instead of pursuing, authorites waited in an unmarked vehicle.

Approximately 20 minutes later, the suspect emerged from the wooded area and attempted to return to his vehicle. Police arrested him after the victim identified the suspect.

Rainey confessed to taking a gift card from the vehicle after noticing the windows were down.

Rainey will appear in court Thursday.

Police urge residents to lock car doors and secure all valuables.