2 face business burglary charges

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Philadelphia Police have a local man and a juvenile from Meridian in custody in connection with a pair of break-ins reported over the weekend.

Austin Dempsey, 22, of Philadelphia was arrested and charged along with a 17-year-old juvenile from Meridian on Saturday, Feb. 27. Both men face charges on two counts of business burglary, said Philadelphia Police Detective Bobby Pattillo. 

Pattillo said the juvenile’s case will be handled in youth court and the adult suspect’s case will be forwarded to the district attorney’s office for consideration by the next grand jury.

At 12:50 a.m. Saturday, PPD officers received an alarm call at Brown’s Discount Drugs on Main Street. Responding officers and investigators discovered the business had been burglarized, Pattillo said. 

Later that morning at approximately 3 a.m. officers received an alarm call from Bobby’s Jewelry on west Beacon Street and discovered the front door had been shattered, but not broken. Pattillo said investigators determined that no entry had been made into the business.

Based on evidence obtained from both crime scenes two suspects were later taken into custody and identified as Dempsey and the juvenile. 

Bobbie Kay Waddell, who owns the jewelry store with her father, Bobby M. Smith, said she is thankful for the timely response from the police.

‘We are just thankful and blessed,” Waddell said. “The police officers did an awesome job and got right on it. I was amazed how quickly they had it all wrapped up.”

Waddell said they tried to make entry through their side door on the Byrd Avenue side of the business. She said they hit the door with a brick or rock that left a “shatter spot” but did not break the door. She said the impact did trigger their alarm. By Monday Waddell said the door had since been fixed.

Waddell said their camera system captured both suspects and gave police information they could use. Waddell thanked Sgt. Lindsey Kidd, Officer Joshua Odom and Officer Lucas Smith specifically.

“I cannot thank these officers enough for everything they did,” Waddell said. “I know they cannot solve every case this quickly but I do know that anytime we ever call them they respond quickly and are always so professional. From experience, I know that law enforcement is often criticized and not praised enough for the job that they do.”


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