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Teen charged in 2-state burglary ring

An Andalusia man is among four men charged in a two-state burglary ring.

The men face charges connected to a rash of residential break-ins and thefts in Brewton, East Brewton and Florida, according to officials with the Escambia County (Ala.) Sheriff’s Department.

Arrested were Darrell J. Smith, 18, of 3125 Pea Ridge Road, Brewton; Brandon D. Smith, 27, of 2717 Pea Ridge Road, Brewton; Jalen J. Harrod, 19, of Rankin St., Andalusia; and Anthony C. Strength, 18, of 3575 Old Foshee Road, Flomaton.

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The investigation that led to the arrests — and to solving crimes in two states — began after homes in the Appleton community north of Brewton were burglarized recently.

Escambia County Chief Deputy Mike Lambert Lambert said the evidence uncovered by investigators in this case led to a joint investigation with Brewton and East Brewton police departments. Those investigations resulted in several burglaries in those cities being solved. Other evidence pointed to the need for a joint investigation with Florida law enforcement officials.

A joint investigation with officials with the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office resulted in solving 15 vehicle burglaries in that county, he said.

Law enforcement officers have recovered 16 firearms, two televisions, laptop computers and other assorted stolen property, he said.

Investigators followed a number of leads in the case that led to the identification of multiple suspects who have been known to target citizens while they were at work or otherwise away from home, Lambert said.

Lambert said additional arrests and/or indictments are anticipated in this case.

–Lisa Tindell