16-year-old broke into Ward’s twice in one week, police say

The person who broke into Ward’s on Pass Road on Sunday night hit the store again early Wednesday, again busting the drive-thru window to get inside, police said.

But this time, the burglar didn’t have time to get money and leave.

The suspect is a 16-year-old boy who has been turned over to Harrison County Youth Court, Gulfport Police Sgt. Joshua Bromen said.

Patrol officers responding to a 3:35 a.m. alarm Wednesday found the burglar inside and recognized him from pictures of the person who broke into the restaurant Sunday night, Bromen said.

Investigators had been reviewing video surveillance footage of Sunday night’s bespectacled burglar, who wore glasses and had both sides of his head shaved. They confirmed the youth is the same one from the 10:30 p.m. break-in on Sunday, Bromen said.

Jesse Lancaster Jr. owns the franchise with his wife Natalie. They shared a post on the business Facebook page,Ward’s Chili Cheese Burgers, to let customers know of an arrest. They thanked employees, community members and others who rallied around them after the first break-in.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews