Man arrested after being found hiding in attic of Mississippi residence. Neighborhood grass-cutter alerted police of trespasser.

Published 1:23 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2023

A diligent grass-cutter spotted a man inside a Mississippi residence when he knew the homeowners were out of town and called the police on Wednesday morning, prompting a multi-agency effort to get the man into custody.

Natchez police and Adams County Sheriff’s Office deputies surrounded the home in the 200 block of Liberty Road just before noon Wednesday and barricaded the trespasser.

Police apprehended 42-year-old Steven Vanwinkle, who now faces charges of trespassing and breaking and entering into an unoccupied dwelling, Natchez Police Chief Cal Green said.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Part of Liberty Road was blocked off during the ordeal to keep people out of potential harm’s way.

“We knew there was a weapon inside the home, but officers were unable to locate it, so we were overly cautious,” Green said. “We wanted to lessen civilian presence as much as possible.”

Adams County Sheriff’s Office assisted Natchez Police Department with its K9 unit and eyewitnesses saw officers enter the home wearing bulletproof vests.

Green said when the grass-cutter saw the man through a window, he was asleep on the sofa.

When he noticed officers coming up to the home, he hid inside the attic underneath the insulation.

It’s unclear how long Vanwinkle was inside the home before being noticed, Green said.