Police Lights

A pair of individuals have been charged with felonies in separate cases after having taking advantage of what was, apparently, misplaced trust.

Joseph C. Brown, a 33-year-old Perkinston resident, was charged with willful exploitation of a vulnerable adult when it was discovered a substantial amount of money was missing from a checking account belonging to a family member he was living with.

“The victim went to use some money in a checking account, only to find out the account was overdrawn,” said Stone County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Amanda Schonewitz. “Through an investigation, it was discovered a rather large sum of money was missing and Mr. Brown had been getting the bank statements from the mail in an attempt to cover up that fact.”

Brown has been released on a $20,000 bond.

In another case, a victim welcomed an individual into his home only to wake up and discover his wallet missing along with a friend’s truck he had borrowed.

SCSD Investigator Candace Stewart looked into the case and eventually arrested Melissa Alyse Hunter, a 28-year-old resident of Ocean Springs, charging her with grand larceny.

“The investigation led me to a probation officer in Jackson County where Ms. Hunter was also wanted on a warrant,” Stewart said. “After interviewing her, we recovered the truck as it was pulling into a tire store on Dedeaux Road in Harrison County.”

Hunter is currently lodged at the Jackson County Jail and Stewart said more arrests were expected in the case.

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