CHEROKEE COUNTY — A former Houston resident suspected in two recent burglaries — one of them a Jacksonville donut store — remained in custody Monday night.
Derick Joe Dale Kemp, 40, is alleged to have stolen the cash register and a tip jar from the Donut Palace, 1519 S. Jackson St. in Jacksonville, early Sunday, July 21. He was caught in the act by a store security camera, which captured a full view of his face.
Deputies with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department allege that Kemp also burglarized The Corner Store at the intersection of FM-747S and County Road 3119 near Lake Jacksonville this past Saturday.
In regard to the Jacksonville donut store burglary, police officials said Monday they are virtually positive Kemp is the same man recently caught on tape taking money from a local donut store.
“They are pretty sure he's the same guy in the photo,” Police Chief Reece Daniel said. “It was a very good photo. Checking the photographs myself, it certainly appears to be him.”
Jacksonville Police Det. Greg Compton agreed. The detective said late Monday afternoon he personally questioned the suspect in county jail. He found himself staring at a very familiar face.
The fact that the man's entire likeness was caught on film during his burglary really caught up with him when he was being questioned by the detective.
“There is no doubt whatsoever it was him,” Compton said.
As to the Lake Jacksonville burglary, authorities were called to the scene about 2 a.m. when the alarm at the store went off.
The front door glass of that store apparently was shattered when the suspect ran into it, suffering a cut either tot he head or face and leaving blood DNA at the scene.
Jacksonville Police officers stopped the vehicle that Kemp was driving about 3:30 a.m. Saturday, according to the sheriff's department. He and his vehicle matched what authorities and the store's owners had observed on yet another videotape taken during the commission of this crime. He also had a cut on his head consistent with the injury the person who robbed the store suffered.