Deputies seize pistols and phones, arrest man in car burglaries

Harrison Wenzel
Harrison Wenzel

Deputies investigating the burglaries of 25 vehicles around Gulf Park Estates have recovered pistols and cellphones and arrested one man, Sheriff Mike Ezell said.

Harrison Wenzel, 19, of Ocean Springs, was arrested late Tuesday on two counts of burglary of a commercial vehicle, and is suspected in several other burglaries, the sheriff said.

The burglaries have been reported since Monday night. Ezell said most of the vehicles were unlocked.

Wenzel’s arrest led to the discovery of several stolen items, including pistols and cellphones, sheriff’s Capt. Chris Stratton said.

Investigators believe other people were involved in the burglaries and are following leads they hope will result in arrests, he said.

“What it looks like is they’ve been walking down streets hitting door handles to see if they were unlocked, and if they were, they ransacked whatever they could get their hands on,” Stratton said.

Officials on Tuesday had confirmed a rash of auto burglaries and urged residents to lock the doors of their vehicles and put anything of value out of sight.

Anyone with information about the burglaries or who sees suspicious activity is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at 228-769-3065 or 228-769-3063. Tipsters can call Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews