Within the past several weeks businesses and churches in Jackson County, Graceville, Chipley, and Marianna have been victims of vandalism and theft. The central air conditioning units of these businesses and churches were dismantled and inside components removed. Law enforcement officers from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Graceville Police Department, Chipley Police Department, and the Marianna Police Department conducted surveillances and extra patrol in these areas to apprehend the suspect(s) responsible for these crimes.
On the early morning hours of Thursday June 30, 2011 a Graceville Police Officer was checking businesses in the strip mall on Prim Avenue. The officer observed a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a Georgia license plate behind the businesses and called for back-up while investigating further. The driver had fled the area on foot. The officer observed a central air conditioning unit had been dismantled.
Officers from the Graceville Police Department and Deputies from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office responded. Canine Units from Jackson Correctional Institution and Holmes Correctional Institution arrived at the scene. After tracking the suspect a short distance, he was captured in a wooded area behind the mall. The suspect was identified as Benjamin Howard Chastain, residing in Dothan, Alabama.
With cooperation from Chastain and further investigations by the Graceville Police Department, Marianna Police Department, Chipley Police Department and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office several grand thefts from local businesses and churches were solved.
Chastain was placed into the Jackson County Correctional Facility and charged with grand theft. More charges are pending.
Arrested: Benjamin Howard Chastain w/m
DOB: April 29, 1986
Eddins Ave. Dothan, Al.