Beaumont teen indicted for participation in auto burglaries

Julius Bell

A Jefferson County grand jury indicted 17-year-old Julius Bell of Beaumont, Sept. 20, for engaging in organized criminal activity, a state jail felony, after police reportedly caught Bell and two others with items burgled from nearby vehicles last year.

According to the PC affidavit for Bell’s arrest, Officer Keith Varnado responded to a home in the 1000 block of Wisteria in reference to an auto burglary Dec. 30, 2016. He took the report for the burglary, and as he was leaving, heard a man shouting. He saw the man was yelling toward two subjects who were walking away. The officer stopped Bell, but the other person ran away. The man who had been yelling told the officer he had seen the two subjects stealing items from the back of his truck. Varnado placed Bell into custody at that time.

The officer then drove to the 6500 block of Salem Circle to the residence of the man who had been yelling at the two suspected thieves. The man’s 2016 Dodge 1500 was open with items scattered throughout it, reported the officer. Varnado placed Bell under arrest for auto burglary.

While searching the nearby area, Varnado discovered one of Bell’s accused accomplices, 20-year-old Shylaih Prescott, hiding under a truck on Salem Circle. Prescott was reportedly lying on top of a purse belonging to yet another auto burglary victim. Another suspect, 19-year-old Chandler Gilford, was also located in the area and arrested for auto burglary. Police say the trio is responsible for at least three auto burglaries, enhancing the crime to the state jail felony level charge of engaging in organized criminal activity.

If convicted, Bell faces 180 days to two years imprisonment and a fine.