In an unusual case, an area landlord has been arrested and charged with commercial burglary after allegedly stripping fixtures out of a house he no longer owned.

Jerry W. Neal, the owner of Regent Properties, was arrested after a witness claimed they saw him direct employees to remove doors, electrical fixtures and other items from a house on Third Avenue in Wiggins.

“The bank had taken possession of the house and he had until May 15 to vacate the premises,” said Wiggins Police Department Investigator Steve Taylor. “He reentered the premises with workers on Mat 23 and began removing permanently attached fixtures, to include doors, lighting fixtures and several other items.

“A neighbor witnessed what was going on and alerted the bank, which in turn alerted our department.”

The 67-year-old Neal posted a $20,000 bond.

Police have obtained additional warrants for two of Neal’s accomplices in the case.

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