By CRISTIN REECE
Palestine Police Department is urging people to lock up their cars and homes after officers arrested a man for burglary of a vehicle last week.
Eighteen-year-old Romello Smith of Palestine was arrested Thursday and charged with class A misdemeanor burglary of a vehicle. Police said the investigation into this incident is still ongoing and Smith could potentially face additional charges if he is linked to similar burglaries in the area.
“There have been numerous vehicle burglaries over the past few weeks,” Palestine Police Department Public Information Officer Lt. James Muniz said in a statement released to the Palestine Herald Press on Monday. “In most of these cases the vehicles had been left unlocked and valuable items were left inside the vehicles.
“The Palestine Police would like to remind everyone to lock up your vehicles and take all of your valuables from your vehicles.”
Local law enforcement has upped patrol measures in residential areas during the night time in an attempt to stop as many vehicles burglaries as possible.
Residents can help by removing any valuable items from a vehicle, locking all the doors on vehicles, homes and other buildings and by calling the police if they see anyone or anything suspicious, especially during the night.
According to police reports, during the early morning of Thursday, July 25, PPD officers reportedly observed a vehicle which appeared to have been burglarized in the 400 block of Fifth Street. Officers also saw a man on a bicycle leaving the area in a rush.
Officers Broc January and Cpl. Chase Scarbrough caught and questioned the man and after some investigation it was determined he possessed property from a vehicle owned by another person.
Police located the owner of the vehicle in question and determined the vehicle had been burglarized.
Upon further investigation, officers were able to locate several other vehicles in the area near Fifth Street, as well as other vehicles in the Fort Sam Houston area of town.
“Police made contact with several citizens and determined that someone had actually been inside their vehicles,” Lt. Muniz said.
Smith remained in the Anderson County Jail as of Monday. No bond had been set.