Two Pine Bluff men were arrested Tuesday after they allegedly broke into two businesses on the north and west side of town.
Kenneth Ward, 45, and Jermaine Brown, 40, were taken into custody after they allegedly broke into the Family Dollar store on Dollarway Road and the Tobacco Outlet on Camden Road, Deputy Prosecutor Cymber Gieringer said.
According to a probable cause affidavit from Detective Steven Rucker, video surveillance at the dollar store showed a man being dropped off by a man driving a dark green SUV and the man threw a brick through the door, entered and took DVD players and other items before getting back into the vehicle, which left the scene.
Gieringer said a witness reported seeing a man run to a dark green SUV after breaking a window at the Tobacco Outlet and taking cartons of cigarettes, and the same witness followed the vehicle and relayed the license plate number to police.
Rucker said in the affidavit that police found the vehicle at West 2nd Avenue and Willow Street and Ward and Brown were in the vehicle.
When Brown was interviewed, he allegedly told police he had broken into the businesses while Ward drove the getaway vehicle.
Gieringer said Ward had prior convictions on drug- and hot check-related offenses in 1995, 1996, 1998 and 2003 but was not currently on probation or parole. She said Brown is on parole after being convicted of burglary in 1993 and breaking or entering, theft of property, theft by receiving and eight counts of commercial burglary in 2010.
At Gieringer’s request, Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth set a $25,000 bond for Ward and a $50,000 cash-only bond for Brown after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge both of them with two counts of commercial burglary, two counts of theft of property and two counts of criminal mischief.
The Public Defender’s Office was appointed to represent both men.