Home invasions continue to keep local police busy and residents of this Delta community on edge. As many as three to five such incidents occurred in Helena-West Helena between Dec. 13 and Dec. 15.
On Dec. 13, Officer Steven Eldridge responded to a robbery in progress at 651 Seminole. According to police reports, Eldridge found Jonathan Bailey sitting inside a car. Cpl. Phillip Keys knocked on the door of the residence and made contact with Akida Omare Smith, who claimed to be the son of the owner of the residence.
The police report states that Smith told officers that Marlow Mason, Travis Belk, aka as Curt Angle, and several other black males came to the house and attempted to rob him with a weapon. Smith informed the police that Belk was inside a storage room in the carport.
According to the report, Eldridge and Keys drew their weapons and indentified themselves as police. The officers ordered the suspects to come out of the room with their hands up. Marcus Clayton exited the storeroom first. Clayton had fresh lacerations on his hands.
Keys spotted Belk lying on the ground with a severely swollen face and blood coming from his left ear. Eldridge discovered a bag sticking out from a board by Belk's head, containing what appeared to be marijuana.
During the search, the report states that Eldridge found what appeared to be an AR-14 (M4) lying beside Belk. The officer secured the weapon that was wrapped in a black, plastic trash bag from the front sight post down to the ejection port with a metal tube sticking out of the barrel in what seemed to be an attempt to make the plastic weapon real.
The report went on to say that officers also found a lot of pistol ball ammunition in the room.
Police proceeded to call Pafford Ambulance because Belk was unresponsive.
Additional investigation at the scene turned up suspected marijuana buds and purple bong was found in the far left corner of the room.
Mason and another suspect were taken into custody. The police report stated that an ACIC check provided information that Clayton also had an active warrant with the city of Helena-West Helena.
Information regarding the charges filed against the suspects was not provided in the police report. Belk's condition also was unavailable.
Also on Dec. 13, Cpl. Chris Hellums responded to an aggravated residential burglary attempt in the Beech Street area. According to the report, the homeowner told police that he went to his backdoor and saw a black male climbing under the beams on his deck. The man got up and pointed a black gun at the resident and ordered him to open the door. The homeowner stated that he immediately fell to the floor, attempting to get out of harm's way and the intruder ran away.
Page 2 of 2 - The report stated the homeowner described the intruder as 5'8” to 5'-10”, 180 pounds wearing a black jacket with cream color sleeves, similar to a letterman's jacket and a black stocking.
The report stated that the home was placed on house watch and police units continued to patrol the area looking for a suspect matching the description.
On Dec. 15, an aggravated residential burglary was apparently thwarted in the McDonough Street area, when the would-be intruder discovered there were more people in the house than he thought.
The police report stated that the resident told police that a man, described as being 5'-8” to 5'-10” and 180 pounds wearing a black jacket with cream colored sleeves similar to a letterman's jacket and black stocking mask, pointed a gun at her and demanded money. He apparently fled when he discovered she wasn't the only person in the house.
The house was placed on house watch and according to the police report, officers continued to patrol the area seeking a suspect fitting the description.