3 more charged in theft from boat

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A former Vicksburg police officer has joined a current officer and another man and woman in being charged with swiping beer from a tour boat at City Front over the weekend.

Benjamin Edward Grant, 24, 528 Warriors Trail, was a VPD officer from May to September 2007 and was in field officer training when he resigned, said Lt. Bobby Stewart.

He joins L. Michael Smith, 27, of 8606 Oak Ridge Road, a patrol officer, in facing a charge of burglary of a water vessel. Facing the same charge are William Paul Flaharty, 44, 175 Simmons Road, and Rebecca Cresswell, 21, 2918 Fisher Ferry Road.

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Smith was arrested when he reported for duty Mondayl the others were booked Tuesday. Flaharty and Cresswell were released on $10,000 bonds, and Grant remained in the Warren County Jail on a $10,000 bond.

The Sweet Olive tour boat owner reported the beer missing Monday.

Witnesses saw a pontoon boat, reportedly owned by Flaharty, pull up to the unattended Sweet Olive Sunday afternoon. The suspects are accused of passing 12 beers from the Sweet Olive to their boat, Stewart said. Smith has been employed at the police department for about a year and has been placed on administrative leave.

The tour boat makes daily excursions from City Front.


Contact Matthew Breazeale at mbreazeale@vicksburgpost.com