Police arrest trio of home burglary suspects

Published 9:44 am Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chilton County and Alabaster law enforcement agencies recently worked to arrest a trio of suspects believed to be involved in a string of burglaries in several cities.

Alabaster Police and Chilton County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 36-year-old Montevallo resident Lisa Watts Harrelson and 54-year-old Nashville, Tenn., resident Marilyn Sue Jernigan March 5.

Chilton County deputies also arrested 54-year-old James Marty Reed March 6 at the Calera Walmart. All three suspects have been charged with two counts of third-degree burglary and two counts of first-degree theft of property.

Police believe the suspects may have been involved in more than 20 burglaries in Shelby, Chilton, Jefferson and Limestone counties, including at least two burglaries in Alabaster, said Alabaster Police Department Deputy Chief Curtis Rigney.

Authorities said the suspects visited homes for sale with a real estate agent and stole items while touring the home. One suspect would distract the homeowner or real estate agent while the other two toured the home and stole items, according to Chilton County Chief Deputy Shane Mayfield.

“I think one of our investigators actually saw some information about it on TV,” Rigney said. “We made contact with the suspects and brought them in and assisted Chilton County with the arrests.

“This group is believed to have been involved in numerous incidents in a few counties,” Rigney added. “One of our detectives got a lead, and we arrested them here in town.”

As of March 9, Reed remained in the Shelby County Jail on a $30,000 bond, and Harrelson and Jernigan were each being held in the Chilton County Jail on an $80,000 bond.

The Clanton Advertiser contributed to this report.