BPD searches for leads

Published 1:01 pm Tuesday, February 10, 2015

BROOKHAVEN – Police are continuing to investigate – but have no leads – in three vehicle-related crimes that occurred in mid-January.

Police Chief Bobby Bell said all three crimes might be connected and continued to advise residents to be on alert.

The first incident occurred when a Ford F-350 was reported stolen from the Jeff Wilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership on Mississippi 51 North.

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On Jan. 18, the first of two F-250s was burglarized while it was parked at a hotel. A speaker installed in a black Wal-Mart box and valued at $200 was stolen.

The second F-250 was broken into Jan. 20 while parked at Broma’s Deli on 1203 Hampton Drive, and the owner reported missing a money clip and a camouflage backpack containing a pair of binoculars.

Police can’t point to a definite connection, but Bell said it seems likely that all three crimes are related.

“They have the same (method of operation), so we’re taking it as a related thing,” he said.

Neither of the burglarized F-250s were damaged, and Bell said the suspects likely gained entry by prying under the handle seam to access the lock rod inside the door.

“F-250s are so easy to get into,” Bell said.

Bell, who brought up the trio of crimes at a recent aldermen meeting, urged residents to take precautions to protect their property.

In addition to locking vehicle doors and hiding valuables, Bell recommended – for Ford vehicle owners – a product called the Jimmi’ Jammer that, when installed, protects the lock.

Preston White, Body Shop Manager at Sullivan Ford Lincoln at 759 Magee Drive said the Jimmi’ Jammer is a metal plate that is installed behind the door handle stopping burglars from hitting the lock cylinder and gaining entrance into a locked vehicle.

White said the problem exists in many models up to 2014 and that he’s been putting Jimmi’ Jammers on for longer than six years. He said the shop gets many Brookhaven people who’ve gone to Jackson, gotten robbed and come back wanting to protect their vehicle. He said Sullivan can get Jimmi’ Jammers for all models but the price depends on the model and the number of doors that require the installation.

Chief Bell said crime prevention also starts with the residents.

“First of all we’re going to have to be our brother’s keeper,” he said.

Bell suggested residents keep their eyes open at all times.

“If you see anything abnormal, no matter how minute, call the police,” Bell said. “That’s what we get paid for. We’re going to answer your call.”

Bell said Brookhaven is susceptible to more crimes than some towns its size because of its proximity to the interstate, which allows those with malicious intent to “jump off, grab stuff and jump back on.”

Bell said BPD is taking extra precautions to safeguard the city against future events similar to last month’s burglaries, including increasing vehicle stops, especially on cars with dealer tags or without a tag.

“Presence and visibility is No. 1,” Bell said. “We want to be as visible as we can to our businesses and residential areas.

“We try to protect the community to try to make it as safe as possible,” Bell said.