George County seeking burglary suspect considered armed and dangerous

The George County Sheriff’s Office has identified a suspect wanted for commercial burglary and considers him to be armed and dangerous.

About 1:30 a.m. Monday deputies responded to the Dog River Pit Stop on Hwy 612 in the Howell Community of George County for a report of a possible gas leak. Upon arrival, deputies found that the convenience store had been burglarized, items were removed from the store, and the fuel storage tanks had been tampered with.

During the initial investigation, deputies also found that a vehicle parked near the store had been broken into as well, and several items were subsequently reported missing from that vehicle. A firearm was also reported stolen from another vehicle in the vicinity a short time later.

George County investigators used footage retrieved from the store’s surveillance system and, together with tips received from the public, were able to identify the suspect as 42-year-old Joseph Ray Jones.

Jones is described as a white male, approximately 5-foot-6 and weighing approximately 180 pounds. He has brown hair that may be shaved or balding, and blue eyes, and may have several tattoos on his shoulders. Jones was driving a silver-colored truck, which investigators were able to recover Tuesday.

A search warrant was executed on the truck, and several reported stolen items were recovered, along with evidence implicating Jones in the burglaries.

Jones is wanted in George County on warrants for two counts of commercial burglary and is a suspect in the theft of the firearm.

Additionally, Jones is wanted by the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office for one count of escape. Jones has ties to both the Howell and Wilmer, Alabama, areas, and may attempt to steal a vehicle in which to travel. Investigators urge all citizens to be on the lookout for this individual, and to contact local law enforcement if you see this person or have any information on his whereabouts.

This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information concerning this or any other crime is encouraged to contact the George County Sheriff’s Office at 601-947-4811.

The Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers is available for reporting anonymous crime tips by calling 877-787-5898.  The Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers can be accessed by internet at the following address: mscoastcrimestoppers.com or through the George County Sheriff’s Office website www.GeorgeCountyMSSheriff.com.

Sheriff Keith Havard and his staff would like to remind the citizens of George County to always lock your vehicles and homes, and never leave valuables in plain sight in a vehicle or easily-accessible area.

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