Several arrests were made over the weekend thanks to the quick thinking of a store clerk following a burglary of a home located on Stadium Street.
According to Kirbyville Police Chief Paul Brister, neighbors of Clifton “Cooney” Smith contacted the Jasper County dispatch Saturday, July 7 after they noticed Smith’s dark blue Chevrolet Z-71 step side pickup had been stolen.
The neighbors were looking after the Smith’s home while they were out of town and knew something wasn’t right when the vehicle was missing from the driveway.
Once Officer Alex Ferrell of the Kirbyville PD arrived at the residence, neighbors led him through a shed door that had been pushed up and into the back patio door where they believed the intruders had entered.
Neighbors pointed out an empty bottle of alcohol and medicine that had been left on the counter. After they showed Officer Ferrell the backroom of the home where jewelry, a bag of coins and a marked two dollar bill and guns were stolen, Chief Brister took the alcohol and medicine bottles for fingerprinting.
A short time later, officers discovered the stolen vehicle parked outside the Stadium Street Apartments. Patrick’s Towing assisted law enforcement in towing of the vehicle to a secured area, while Chief Brister made his way throughout the city visiting convenience store clerks. Brister says he told the clerks if anyone made purchases using silver coins or a two-dollar bill, to contact the police department.
Promptly thereafter, Lisa Stanley, local clerk at Sunshine General Store, received a two-dollar bill, wrote down the customer’s information and contacted the police department.
On Sunday, July 8, the vehicle that had been identified by the store clerk was located at a home located on Elizabeth Street near the Smith residence. Upon arrival at the residence, officer’s noticed a strong small of marijuana coming from inside the home, and observed the substance lying on a table in plain sight.
Eight individuals were taken into custody, three of which were unrelated to the burglary. Aaron Deshazor, 19, Kelby Webb, 18, Jamar Reder, 23, and a minor were all taken into custody and charged with Burglary of a Habitation. Additionally, Webb and the minor were charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle.
Susan Kinzie, 52, and her twin sons, Robert and Charles Kinze, both 18, along with Alton Booker Jr., 35, were all arrested and charged with possession of marijuana.
Seven parties were transported to the Jasper County Jail, while the minor was taken to the Hardin County Detention Center.
Kirbyville Police Chief Paul Brister, along with Ferrell and Chad Bradberry were the arresting officers and were assisted by Jasper County Sheriff Mitchel Newman, Captain Bob Walker, Lt. Scott Jacks and Deputy John Cooper.
Later, Webb told officers he, Deshazor and the minor were sitting at the residence when someone came over and told them “the house with the blue Chevy” would be unoccupied for a while.
The group made two trips to the Smith’s residence while taking several items.
As of news time, Chief Brister says although the guns were recovered, most of the stolen property had yet to be located, and no one was talking.
“The police department appreciates Ms. Stanley for being courageous in helping to identify the persons of interest,” explained Chief Brister. “It was her information that led to us solving the case. That’s what makes the difference – people having the courage to come forward.”
The Kirbyville Police Department continues to urge citizens to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity, and say working together and keeping a watchful eye out for your neighbors is what helps keep the community safe.