LEE COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) – Police in Tupelo have arrested four men they believe are behind a rash of break-ins at businesses in several states. Investigators say last weekend they hit 13 businesses in DeSoto County.
Mississippi cops knew they were dealing with professionals. Now that they’ve been caught, the actual scale of what they’re dealing with is surprising, even to police.
“This going to be one for the record books as far as state of Mississippi,” says Lt. Mark Little with the Southaven Police Department.
“This is big folks. This is real big,” says Detective Sgt. Dee Dee Smith, with the Corinth Police Department.
The men cops say are responsible are Clifton Mitchell, the accused ring leader, his son Richard, Clinton Currin and Anthony Cordell.
“These folks have been pretty busy,” says Smith.
The four have been burglarizing businesses across the South.
“We’re sitting here trying to tally it up,” says Little. “We know for sure now we have three different states involved and over 20 burglaries have been solved with this capture.”
But cops believe there are many more than that.
“They’ve been doing this for probably a pretty good while,” says Sgt. Jerry Davis with the Tupelo Police Department. “We’re still trying to develop where all they’ve done it.”
“Talking to some of our victims, they have similar business in Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and some of those have been hit in the same fashion,” adds Little.
“We’re probably going to hear from a lot more people,” agrees Davis.
They’ve already heard from “Horn Lake, Southaven and in Smyrna, Tennessee and in Murfreesboro and some places in Alabama were hit too,” says Smith.
“You play, you pay,” said Clifton Mitchell as he walked out of court.
“They were good,” said Smith. “They were real good. They just weren’t good enough.”
The men have been charged in Tupelo. Clifton Mitchell’s bond was set at $50,000. The others were set at $25,000.
Even if they post bail they won’t go free. They’ll be extradited to each of the cities where they’re suspected of burglaries.
Click here to see news footage from ABC affiliate 24 in MemphisABA Memphis