BPS has burglary suspect in custody, evidence recovered

Published 4:58 pm Monday, August 20, 2012

Lorenza Snell

Bainbridge Public Safety officers believe they have at least one suspect in a string of eight burglaries in recent weeks.

The suspect, identified as 21-year-old Lorenza Snell of 830-B E. Broughton St., is in custody at the Decatur County Jail, but investigators are still looking for more information related to the burglaries, said Major Robert Humphrey, head of the Criminal Investigation Division at Public Safety. Humphrey said some of the items reported stolen from some of the businesses have since been recovered.

Humphrey said Snell has not been formally charged with burglary.

All but one of the burglaries happened at businesses — six of them happened in the early morning hours of Aug. 7, while two more happened the night of Aug. 13.

Distinctive items reported stolen from at least two other businesses have also been recovered.

“We hope that, as a result of having at least one of the persons we believe was involved with the burglaries in custody, it will put an end to the break-ins,” Humphrey said.

 

Officers have recovered some evidence

Snell was arrested at his residence on Friday, August 17, after BPS took out a warrant for Snell’s arrest on the charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

At the time of his arrest, Snell was already a suspect in the burglaries because officers had found items taken from Dina’s Hair Salon at 120 S. Scott Street in a dirt alleyway off Cheever Street, next to Snell’s residence. Snell’s residence is less than a tenth of a mile from the hair salon and Parker’s Paint, where another burglary occurred.

On the day after the first six burglaries happened, several of the items taken from Dina’s Hair Salon — including two pairs of hair clippers, a leaf blower, curling irons and flat irons — were found inside a duffel bag dumped behind a residence on the 1000 block of Broughton Street.

Officers interviewed the resident where the duffel bag was found and are convinced they had no ties to the burglary, Humphrey said.

“We actually searched in the area near there the night of the Aug. 7 burglaries and didn’t find the bag, so we think the burglar may have left it there sometime the next day because they knew the police were on his trail,” Humphrey said.

The duffel bag also contained a black work glove that matched a glove that BPS Officer Jason Barlow found outside American Pie Pizza on the night it was burglarized.

American Pie’s security alarm went off at 2 a.m., bringing officers to the scene, however the break-ins at the hair salon and Parker Paints weren’t discovered until around 8 a.m.

 

Suspect in jail on other charges

On August 8, Snell wound up at the emergency room at Memorial Hospital after he reported being the victim of an accidental shooting, in which his hand was injured, according to Humphrey.

Snell told police that the gun had gone off while he was handling it.

When BPS investigators went to Snell’s residence last Friday, Humphrey was placing the handcuffs on Snell when the officer observed Snell’s left hand clinched into a fist.

“Humphrey forced Snell’s hand open and recovered numerous partially smoked marijuana cigarettes,” the incident report stated.

Therefore, Snell was also booked on the charge of possession of marijuana (less than one ounce).

Officers also found at least one item taken from All About Nails, located at 332 N. Broad St., inside Snell’s residence, according to Humphrey.

 

More details on burglaries

The first six burglaries occurred on August 7 at:

• American Pie, 925 E. Shotwell St. in the Winn-Dixie shopping center

• Parker Paints, 800 E. Water St.

• Dina’s Hair Salon, 120 S. Scott St.

• American Lube Fast, 829 E. Shotwell St.

• All About Nails, 332 N. Broad St.

• A residence at 110 N. Russ St.

The people who broke into American Pie attempted to break into the Money Tree loan business, which is adjacent to the restaurant, but were unsuccessful, Humphrey said.

Two more burglaries occurred on Aug. 13 at Fastenal, 430 E. Calhoun St., and The Country Store, at 1105 Dothan Road.

The burglars broke through the glass front doors of both the Country Store and Fastenal — both businesses’ alarms went off at approximately 11:45 p.m. At The Country Store, the burglars got away with approximately $50 in coins. At Fastenal, burglars only got an envelope containing receipts from the cash register before fleeing.

Investigators believe the first six burglaries are connected to the more recent two, due to footage from some of the businesses’ security videos, Humphrey said.

“We have more than one video in which the burglars, who appear to be two men, are wearing stockings over their faces and have gloves on,” Humphrey said.

Anyone who has more information about any of the eight burglaries is asked to call Humphrey at (229) 515-0973.