Minden Press-Herald

Tuesday
Sep 30th

Cold case cracked

Jacob_MorehartChristian_Banks

Brandon_Hallidayhunt

Almost one year after a Dixie Inn restaurant was burglarized, three local men have been arrested and one is still at-large.

Dixie Inn Police Chief Jim Edwards said Brandon Halliday, Christian Banks and Christopher Hunt, all 18, have been charged with simple burglary, unauthorized entry of a place of business and simple criminal damage to property.

Authorities are reportedly still looking for 19-year-old Jacob Morehart.

"In August 2010, four people burglarized a local restaurant," Edwards said. "They stole a cash register with around $1,500 in it. Then two nights later, they went back in to try again, but we believe the alarm scared them off."

Edwards said Dixie Inn Police Officer Kenneth Gay began an investigation – collecting evidence and questioning anyone who may have knowledge of the crime or the persons who committed it.

"Even though he worked really hard, at that time we were not able to identify any of the four subjects," said the chief.

At that point, he said, the case went cold.

"Recently, we noticed Minden Police had arrested a subject for a burglary," Edwards said. "Officer Gay went to Minden P.D. and talked with detectives to see if it might be the same person who committed both burglaries."

The chief said things did not fall into place, and Minden's burglar was a different man.

"But Minden was talking to another subject, identified as Christopher Hunt," Edwards said. "When they questioned him about the Dixie Inn burglary, he spilled the beans. He confessed to the burglary and identified the other three subjects with him."

With the aid of Minden Police, Dixie Inn authorities obtained warrants and on August 8 arrested Banks and Halliday. Hunt was already incarcerated at Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center, and his warrant was reportedly served there.

"When Banks was questioned, he admitted to the burglary, told us what happened and gave us the same names of the other three subjects involved," Edwards said. "They were exactly the same names given to us by Hunt."

While Morehart is still considered a fugitive, Edwards said he has family in Arkansas and may be there, and it's only a matter of time before he is arrested, too.

"Officer Gay deserves the credit for solving this cold case," Edwards said. "He spent a lot of time collecting evidence and interviewing people. He had the idea to go to Minden P.D. and talk to them about one of their cases. He just did a lot of hard work and spent a lot of time on it."

Edwards also thanked the Minden Police Department for their help.

"We appreciate the detectives for questioning the people and getting us an ID on these other three," he said. "The other officers for helping us pick these guys up."

Last Updated ( August 15, 2011 )  

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