By CRISTIN REECE
Palestine Police Department officers continue to investigate the burglaries of three local businesses that occurred over the weekend and arrested a Palestine man in a separate burglary case last week.
Law enforcement officials said at least two of the incidents, reported at the Dollar General store on Elm Street and the Family Dollar store on Spring Street, appear to be connected.
The first incident occurred about 3:30 a.m. Friday, June 28, at the Sonic Drive-thru restaurant on South Loop 256. Police determined an unknown person or persons had smashed the front door glass of the restaurant and made entry into the building. An undetermined amount of money was reported missing. Police made a search of the building and surrounding area, but no suspect was located.
“Police do have the name of a person of interest (in the Sonic incident) and will be attempting to locate and talk with this subject,” Palestine PD Lt. James Muniz stated in a media release provided to the Herald Press.
The second and third cases reportedly occurred during the early morning hours of Saturday, June 29. Police officials report an unknown person or persons used what appeared to be a metal bar to smash the front glass at the Dollar General, located in the 600 block of Elm Street. The suspect appeared to have used the same mode of entry at the Family Dollar, located in the 300 block of Spring Street.
Investigators conducted searches of both businesses and surrounding areas, but found no suspects. One or two cell phones were missing from each store. Police were able to review each store’s surveillance and report the suspect appeared to be a thin male wearing a black shirt, dark shorts and tennis shoes, but had his face partially covered with his shirt.
“In each of the cases the stores were equipped with video,” Muniz stated in the department’s press release. “Police are waiting to obtain a copy of the video from each of the home offices.”
If anyone has any information that may aid police in the investigations into these burglaries, please call the Palestine Police Department at 903-729-2254 or Crime Stoppers at 903-729-(TIPS) 8477. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of the suspects involved in these incidents.
In a separate burglary case, Arthur James Williams, 43, of Palestine was arrested and charged with burglary of a habitation after police responded to an alarm in the 900 block of North Sycamore Street. The call was dispatched to officers just before midnight on Friday, June 28.
According to the initial report, Palestine police located Williams in the garage area of the home with items in his possession. Williams was arrested by Officer James Heavner and transported to the Anderson County Jail.
Burglary of a habitation is a second degree felony which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.