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A married couple from Benton face numerous charges for allegedly breaking into multiple storage buildings throughout Saline County, according to Benton police.
Lt. Kevin Russell said that any individuals renting or owning a storage building in the local area should inspect it to ensure that they also are not a victim of theft. If a unit is found to be burglarized, the individual should call the local police department.
"I would also encourage people to periodically check them just to ensure their property is safe," Russell said.
Reports of breaking and entering of storage buildings have been on the rise in recent months and detectives were able to develop leads that led to the arrest of Jack Daniel Harrison, 29, and his 29-year-old wife, Machelle Andrews Harrison. Russell said the investigation is continuing and therefore the exact number of storage unit burglaries the couple can be linked to is undetermined at this time. However, he said they are alleged to have broken into "at least 10 storage" units in Benton and additional units in Haskell and other areas of the county.
"All of the break-ins occurred during the daytime hours and tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise was stolen from them," Russell said. "It's a wide range of items that were found stolen and we've already returned most of the stolen items to the owners."
The Harrisons were taken into custody for the alleged crimes on Friday at their home in the 1000 block of River Street. Russell said officers reported finding stolen items in and around the home.
Benton police charged Jack Harrison with six counts of breaking and entering, possession of firearms by certain persons (felon), two counts of felony theft of property, and two counts of theft of a firearm.
Additionally, the Bryant Police Department charged him with six counts of theft of property, six counts of second-degree criminal mischief and failure to appear; Bauxite Police Department is charging him with two counts of theft of property and two counts of breaking and entering; Haskell Police Department is charging him with 14 counts of breaking and entering and six counts of theft of property; and the Saline County Sheriff's Office is charging him with commercial burglary, two counts of lottery tickets fraud and theft of property.
Machelle Harrison also faces numerous counts of breaking and entering, theft of property and criminal mischief from multiple law enforcement agencies. Russell said the couple could also have more charges forthcoming as the investigation continues.
As of press time, Jack Harrison remains jailed in the Saline County Detention Center under a $100,000 sheriff's bond, as well as a $1,000 cash or professional bond for a failure to appear in court warrant. Machelle Harrison remains jailed under a $25,000 sheriff's bond.
Both are scheduled to appear in Benton District Court on Oct. 9.
Anyone with information concerning this incident is encouraged to call the Benton Police Department at 778-1171 or 315-TIPS (8477). Residents may also send crime information in the form of an anonymous text to the number CRIMES (274637) with the keyword BNPD in the body of the text.
*Published earlier today in the Saline Courier. A selection of our local stories is available online for complete news coverage, subscribe to our online edition today.