Three arrested for auto burglaries in Lamar Co.


Lamar County police have arrested three suspects involved in a rash of automobile burglaries in the county.

Sheriff Danny Rigel said there were several vehicles broken into during the early morning of August 11 on Blossom Circle in Purvis. Deputies were notified by a homeowner who witnessed suspicious activity in the area.

While canvassing the area, officers came upon a suspicious vehicle and made two arrests in connection with the burglaries: Jessica Wigley and Heath Bland.

Wigley is charged with two counts of auto burglary, as well as possession of a controlled substance in a correctional facility after attempting to smuggle narcotics into the jail. Her bond has been set at $50,000.

Bland is charged with accessory before the fact of auto burglary, petit larceny and parole violation. As Bland is currently on probation, he has not had a bond set.

Investigators later arrested Greg Bankston of Sumrall, who has been charged with six counts of auto burglary, possession of a controlled substance by a convicted felon, possession of a controlled substance while in possession of a firearm, and possession of a stolen firearm.

His bond has been set at $210,000.

Police were able to recover the stolen property and return it to the owners.

“It was a great collaboration between the patrol deputies and the investigators,” Rigel said. “We just caution everybody that the majority of these auto burglaries, the vehicles were unlocked.

“So I feel like a broken record, but lock your doors. The majority of auto burglaries are crimes of opportunities – they’re looking for a vehicle that’s unlocked. And usually they’ll only break a window if they see something that’s worth making the noise to get, so lock your doors and don’t leave valuables on the seat.”