Police searching for suspect

Published 6:31 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Greenville Police Department is searching for a man wanted in connection with a rash of vehicle break-ins downtown.

According to Lt. Justin Lovvorn, authorities have identified a primary suspect in the case and are “actively pursuing him.” The GPD is trying to locate Akeem Jamel Bell, 21, of Greenville for questioning in connection with the downtown break-ins.

“We already have a warrant on him, and we have two or three witnesses in the case that have identified him as the one responsible for the break-ins,” Lovvorn said. “We’ve haven’t been able to locate him yet, and believe that he might have traveled down to the Georgiana area.”

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Authorities are asking that anyone with information on Bell’s whereabouts contact the GPD.

“We believe that once we’re able to locate (Bell), we’ll see the number of break-ins decline,” Lovvorn said.

In the meantime, the GPD has increased patrols downtown and is using portable surveillance cameras in the area.

“Basically the people who are breaking into vehicles are focusing on easy targets,” Lovvorn said. “They are looking for vehicles that are left unattended and for short periods of time that probably don’t have an alarm set and they’re looking into the windows for anything of monetary value. Once they spot it, they smash the window if they have to and take what’s inside. In 10 seconds they are done and gone.

“The best thing anyone can do to protect their property is to lock the doors and keep their valuable items in the trunk. We’ve yet to have anyone break into the trunk of a vehicle to take anything. Another thing is if anyone sees someone who looks suspicious, go ahead and call us even if they haven’t done anything. That will allow us to come and check things out. It doesn’t mean that whoever it is will be arrested, but it could help prevent some of these crimes.”

Anyone with information on Bell’s whereabouts can contact Lovvorn and Sgt. Kenneth Hadley at (334) 382-7461.