Second arrest made in Mercedes plant break-ins

By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Chaney Scott

A second arrest has been made in a vehicle break-in investigation at the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International plant in Vance.

Ro’daryus Mitchell, 25, was taken to the Tuscaloosa County Jail late Wednesday afternoon.

The break-ins occurred in the parking lot of the Mercedes plant last month. Some vehicles had windows smashed and others had been left unlocked. Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Josh Hastings said any car anywhere can be a target for thieves.

“Anytime you have an open area like that, whether you have a shopping mall or a ball park or anything like that where you just  have a bunch of vehicles, there will be someone opportunistic who will want to break in and get whatever items they can out of it,” Hastings said.

Terrance Wuanya Whatley, 24, was arrested last month and charged with 12 counts of unlawfully breaking and entering into a vehicle. Both men are from Jefferson County.

“A lot of times people think that once you make an arrest, the investigation has concluded at that point. That’s not how it works,” said Hastings. “We’re going to follow up every lead we get and make sure we are thorough. If there are other people potentially involved, we need to sit down and talk with them and find out how involved they are.”

Officers have recovered some items stolen from vehicles, but not everything.

“I always remind people with these type cases to make sure if you have valuables in the car, make sure they are out of sight. If you don’t have to take them with you, don’t.”

Investigators said they anticipate additional charges against Mitchell and more arrests may be coming.

Categories: Crime, Local News