Another homeless man has been arrested and charged following a rash of car thefts in the county, bringing the number of recovered vehicles to two.

Neshoba County Sheriff’s Investigator Derek Wyatt said that the Scott County Sheriff’s Department recovered an early 2000 Chevy Z71 and took the driver into custody.

Sami Elbatnigi, 29, was arrested and charged with possession of stolen property. Wyatt said that Elbatnigi was “effectively homeless” though most recently claimed to live in Walnut Grove.

He remains in the Neshoba County Detention Center on an $8,100 bond.

The Chevy pickup was stolen off of Road 121 on Sept. 15 in the Dixon community.

This truck is one of three vehicles reported stolen in the county in the month of September that includes a Camaro, which was recovered two weeks ago, and another truck.



The 2006 silver Chevy Camaro reported taken from Bobby’s Auto Sales on Mississippi 485 the weekend of Sept. 14, was recovered two weeks ago on Thursday, Sept. 19, when a sheriff’s department investigator pulled the vehicle over.

Timothy Caleb Smith, 18, was arrested and charged with felony possession of a stolen vehicle by Neshoba County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Kenny Spencer that afternoon in a traffic stop on Beacon Street.

Neshoba County Sheriff Tommy Waddell said that the suspect had been spotted driving the vehicle before the stop was made.

“The driver was arrested and the vehicle was recovered with minimal damage,” Waddell said at the time. Smith was said to be essentially homeless as well.

The vehicle, he said, had been stashed somewhere in Kemper County and was being moved to a second hiding location when the arrest was made. The investigation continues with one vehicle still unaccounted for.

When asked if there is any connection between the two men or the thefts, Wyatt declined to comment.

One vehicle remains at large, a silver and gold F-150 with a black toolbox, Blues Trail tag number 1618 and Pickin N Grillin tag on the front was stolen on the morning of Sept. 8, form the Arlington community according to social media accounts.

Residents in Arlington, especially along River Road, were urged to be vigilant on Sept. 12 in a social media post after someone spotted a white Ford Expedition older model driving very slowly down the road “checking stuff out.” 

When the person caught up with the driver he was “almost stopped at another house looking at their stuff saw me coming up behind him and tried to take off. I got license plate (number) headed up 19 north.”