Resident foils break-in

Published 12:03 am Friday, June 22, 2012

A burglary in progress was stopped in its tracks – literally – by the son of a Brooklyn Road homeowner Wednesday.

The incident occurred shortly after 3 p.m. when Covington County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a residence at the intersection of Brooklyn Road and Walters Road to a trespassing and theft-in-progress complaint.

“The man said he arrived at his parents’ home and found two men loading metal into a truck and detained them until a deputy could arrive,” said Chief Deputy David Anderson.

The men were identified as 28-year-old Stephen Ainsworth of Niceville, Fla., and Ronnie Watts, 57, of Evergreen. Anderson said numerous items were found in the back of Watts’ pickup truck, and it was later discovered that Ainsworth had entered a storage building and removed several items.

Anderson said Drug Task Force agents were contacted when, during the search of Watts’ vehicle, Deputy Paul Adams found a plastic container of an “off-white powder substance.”

DTF assistant commander Paul Hudson said the substance field-tested positive for methamphetamine and Ainsworth admitted it was. Hudson said agents also located a medical syringe and a spoon with burn marks – both items commonly used to ingest narcotics.

Hudson commended both the victim and Deputy Adams for the way they handled the situation.

“With all of the violent crimes being committed in our area of late, people are on edge,” Hudson said. “When the victim came home and saw these two people in his yard, he called law enforcement and allowed us to handle it.

“Although I don’t believe either of these men were there to cause harm to anyone, you never know what can happen if you try to take matters into your own hands,” he said.

Ainsworth was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal trespass III and attempted theft of property III. He was booked into the Covington County Jail and held on a $19,000 bond. Jail records show his released was placed hold by the Andalusia Police Department.

Watts was charged with criminal trespass III and attempted theft III and held on a $6,000 bond.