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South Jones High School Bandit Captured


Story from Laurel Leader-Call

Photo: Submitted

Suspect caught breaking in South Jones HS for second time

An Ellisville man who was released from prison early for breaking into South Jones High School was caught red-handed inside the band hall after midnight Wednesday, Jones County Sheriff's Department officials are reporting.

Tyrese Blanks, 21, was found hiding under a music platform inside the school after deputies responded to a call that there was an intruder inside, according to the report.

He was booked into the Jones County Adult  Detention Center charged with burglary.

"There had been five or six break-ins there over the last three weeks," Investigator J.D. Carter said.

But surveillance cameras didn't capture a good image of the perpetrator, so a trail camera was set up, Carter said, and that gave the alert that helped deputies catch their quarry. Blanks didn't manage to steal anything because deputies "were able to get there fast enough and get him cornered in a supply room in the band hall," Carter said.

Blanks made his initial appearance in Jones County Justice Court later Wednesday, and Judge David Lyons set his bond at $25,000.

"Our deputies conducted a search of the high school and located Tyrese Blanks hiding under a music platform," Sheriff Joe Berlin said. "Burglarizing a school is a serious offense, and we have zero tolerance for this type of behavior."

The Mississippi Department of Corrections had a hold on him because he had been released from prison on Nov. 23, 2020 - after serving a fraction of his four-year sentence for the same crime in January 2020.

When Blanks was arrested for breaking into SJHS in 2020, he was found wearing a jacket that had been reported stolen from his former school. He had gained entry by breaking a cafeteria office window and stolen $210 from a filing cabinet. His bond was revoked at that time because he was out on bond for an aggravated assault charge in Lumberton. Carter handled that case, too.

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