Teens arrested for burglary of VFW, more charges likely

Published 12:56 am Saturday, November 1, 2008

Area law enforcement arrested two men Friday who are suspected of a recent rash of burglaries throughout the county.

Fritz David Otto, 18, of Opp and Samuel Brett Bass, 19, Andalusia face a multitude of burglary-related charges after they allegedly broke into the Red Level VFW Thursday.

“Sheriff’s Office deputies and Red Level Police Chief Howard West responded to a burglar alarm at the VFW, but the suspects were gone at their arrival,” said Covington County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Wesley Snodgrass.

Snodgrass said when police arrived it was determined that those responsible had gained entry into the building through its ventilation system.

“There was damage to the A/C ducts as well as several roofing tiles,” he said. “The two had also unsuccessfully attempted to disable the security cameras by cutting the cords to the cameras.”

In fact, when Otto was confronted with video evidence of the alleged crimes, Snodgrass said Otto confessed his involvement in the VFW burglary, as well as others including several within the city limits of Andalusia, to CCSO Investigator Greg Jackson.

This recent break-in at the Red Level VFW is one of many the organization has suffered, which prompted members to install a security system at the building.

Otto now faces charges of third-degree burglary, second-degree theft of property, first-degree criminal mischief and violation of probation as he had been placed on probation on a previous burglary conviction.

Bass was later identified as the second suspect, Snodgrass said.

Bass faces the same charges as Otto.

Snodgrass said additional charges against the two could be forthcoming.