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Pair charged with stealing from dead
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Two local men have been accused of stealing from the dead after a deputy caught them allegedly burglarizing the home of a person who died a couple months ago.
The suspects, Jesse Randal Fitts, 48, and Benjamine Otis Jennings, 21, claim the residence in question had been sold and they were simply cleaning it out. However, the sister of the deceased says the men were cleaning it out alright, but illegally as they had no permission to take items from the home.
The men were caught by sheriff’s deputy Kelly Carter who was on patrol on Davis Street.
“I noticed a pickup with a trailer backed in there and I knew the owner had passed away in November of last year and had no family living in the area,” Carter said.
Carter stopped and talked to the men. During his conversation, he noticed the men had loaded items into the trailer. The items included a stand-up air compressor, two stand-up tool boxes with tools, a gas Weedeater, car jacks and a battery charger. Those items had been taken from a utility shed near the house.
Still more items taken from the house were found in the trailer. Those items included a refrigerator, knife, and computer camera from the house. The items were worth well in excess of $1,000, making the crime a felony.
“They claimed the building had been sold and they were cleaning it out,” Carter recalled, noting he challenged their story by calling the descendant’s next of kin. “I contacted the sister of the deceased and she said no one should be at the residence taking anything from it.”
The men are both charged with aggravated burglary and theft, both for the break-in of the house and utility shed.