Tupelo police ask community to help catch fugitives

By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Police Chief Tony Carleton said he wants the community to help them locate five Tupelo fugitives.
Despite having well-trained officers and investigators working every case, Carleton said sometimes the only way to get crimes solved is for the people who know about them to provide information to police.
“A part of good police work is knowing your community and having a good working relationship with them so they can help with solving crimes,” said Carleton. “That’s a big part of what I want to do as chief. I want to mend bridges between police and the community so we all can work together to make sure Tupelo is safe. Getting these five men off the streets will help with that.”
When police had to find a man suspected in stabbing another man in the head in December, they turned to the public and within a couple of weeks Brian Blanchard was arrested and charged with aggravated assault. Carleton is hoping the same tactic will help locate Robert Gardner, Adam B. Harris, Guy William Powell, Rogelio Sanchez Roman and Lavontay Remer Harris.
* Gardner, 26, is wanted for exposure to HIV. Police said Gardner has knowingly passed the disease to unsuspecting women. They have been looking for him since last year.
* Adam Harris, 40, is wanted for burglary and larceny for allegedly breaking into several homes in 2005. Police say Harris sold thousands of dollars in property from his victims.
* Powell, 57, has been on the run since 2008. He is wanted for embezzlement under contract. Powell allegedly embezzled money from his job in Alabama. He was arrested in Tupelo in a stolen car. But after Powell posted bond, he skipped town.
* Roman, 40, was charged with sexual battery in 2008. He allegedly assaulted a local woman.
* Lavontay Harris, 19, has been on the run since 2007. He is wanted for burglary and larceny.
Detective Jerry Davis said even though all the men are accused of different crimes, they all have negatively affected the community in one way or another.
“Gardner is passing the HIV virus around and that’s serious,” said Davis. “This is something that really affects people in the community and we hope they help us to catch him. A lot of lives are being ruined. That’s why we are calling on the help of the public. They are the people that live in these communities and are the people most affected by the actions of these individuals.”
Carleton said he wants residents and police to be one team.
“If you see a crime, please wait around to talk to an investigator,” said Carleton. “It may be five minutes before they get on the scene and when they get there everyone is gone. We need people to start hanging around so we can get some of these crimes solved. We want to be as big of a help to the community as possible, so help us help you.”
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.

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