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Holiday sees uptick in accidents, crime

With more people traveling and shopping during the holiday season comes an increased risk of theft and danger on the roads. Several local incidents were reported during Thanksgiving and over the weekend. Statewide, the Mississippi Highway Patrol reported four fatal vehicle accidents on Mississippi roads, all involving drivers not wearing seatbelts.

Holiday travel

The Mississippi Highway Patrol concluded its Thanksgiving enforcement period, which began Nov. 25 at 6 p.m. and ended Nov. 29 at midnight.

During the enforcement period, troopers were assigned to interstate and highway systems in order to combat careless and reckless driving along with speeding and distracted driving issues.

MHP issued 6,198 citations with 121 DUI arrests, said Captain Johnny Poulos, director of the public affairs division of MHP. Troopers investigated 221 motor vehicle crashes, which included 73 injuries and four fatalities on state, federal highways and interstates.

Poulos said the four fatal crashes investigated by MHP occurred on Saturday and involved drivers not wearing seatbelts.

In this district, MHP Troop M encountered 12 DUIs, one drug arrest, six seatbelt violations, three child restraint violations and five total collisions.

“The Mississippi Highway Patrol urges the public to consider that chances of survival increase dramatically when properly restrained during a crash,” Poulos said. “The one second it takes to make the click can possibly save families a lifetime of grief. We are asking motorist to make good decisions and strive to make the remainder of the holiday season a safe one.”

MHP investigated 179 crashes including three fatalities during the 2014 Thanksgiving enforcement period.

Gun theft

The Brookhaven Police Department received a report over the weekend from a man who said he had roughly $3,000 worth of guns and ammo stolen out of his truck.

Over the weekend in the city there were BPD reports of: two vehicle burglaries, one residential burglary, one burglary of a business and two shoplifting incidents.

Police advise people to take a few precautionary steps to help prevent theft through the rest of the holiday season. Keep valuables in vehicles out of sight and lock doors every time you leave the vehicle. Place shopping bags or purses in the locked trunk or otherwise stowed away to discourage break-ins.