Native’s car among vehicles vandalized in church parking lot

Published 6:00 am Thursday, January 6, 2005

CLINTON – A Brookhaven native’s 2001 Mazda Tribute was one of 21vehicles vandalized as part of an apparent theft attempt Tuesdaynight at Morrison Heights Baptist Church, the victim’s mothersaid.

Susan Jones said her daughter, Molly Jones, 21, was in Orlando,Fla., on a choir trip when the Mississippi College student’s rightfront window of the car was shattered and the glove compartment andconsole ransacked between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. Tuesday.

“Nothing was stolen from her car that we know of,” Susan Jonessaid. “There wasn’t anything of value in there.”

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Other vehicles in the parking lot sustained damage to thesteering column “like they were trying to steal them,” Jones said.Most of the vehicles had one broken window, but some had two.

Although the steering columns indicate they were trying to stealthe vehicles, other clues seem to indicate it was simply an act ofvandalism, Jones said.

“In one car they left a laptop computer on the passenger seatand another car had a $600 radio. Neither was taken,” she said. “AnAviator that was broken into was filled with a student’sbelongings, like they hadn’t made it to their dorm room from homeyet, and none of that was even touched. I don’t know what they werelooking for.”

Jones said they were approximately 30-40 vehicles in thechurch’s parking lot at the time of the incident. The vehiclesbelonged to students who were participating in a special choirtour.

Members of the choir, including Molly Jones, were selectednationwide to perform a new musical at a music minister’sconference in Orlando, Fla. The choir left Monday and returnstonight.

“The police were notified the vehicles would be in the parkinglot and unattended during that time,” Susan Jones said.

A Clinton police officer told Jones he had made a pass throughthe lot about a half hour before the incident was discovered andeverything looked normal. When he returned, he saw a light on inone of the vehicles and discovered the vandalisms.

“They must have done what they did very quickly,” Jonessaid.

The incident is under investigation.