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Collins: ‘This is our house’ — Chief cautions locals to be aware, proactive

Brookhaven police are investigating a string of car burglaries that have two things in common — personal belongings were taken and the doors were likely left unlocked.

Chief Kenneth Collins said thieves will usually take the path of least resistance, which means stealing from vehicles that are easier to break into.

“Lock your doors,” he said.

About eight vehicle burglaries were reported Monday, and another one was reported Tuesday morning. The burglaries occurred in various neighborhoods.

“As a community, we need to take this personally,” he said. “This is our house. We don’t need to let thieves come in here and steal from our house.”

Collins said the thieves took whatever they could find of value.

“They take guns, purses, whatever they find when you leave your doors unlocked,” he said.

He said it will take the entire community working together to protect each other to decrease crime.

He asks that if individuals see something out of the ordinary, call police immediately. Don’t wait, even a few hours, he said. If a crime is being committed, then the police have a better chance of catching the perpetrator if it’s reported promptly.

He said to be aware of strangers in neighbors’ yards when the neighbors aren’t home.

“If someone you don’t recognize is walking through the neighborhood at night, call the police,” he said. “They need to be vigilant. You never know what piece of the puzzle you have. Any little piece of information could help solve the puzzle.”

The Brookhaven Police Department will be hosting a neighborhood watch start-up meeting April 12 at 5:30 p.m. at the Brookhaven Building at 1154 Beltline Drive. Anyone interested in starting or participating in a neighborhood watch program is encouraged to attend.

Also, anyone with information about the rash of car burglaries is asked to call the Brookhaven Police Department at 601-833-2424 or CrimeStoppers at 601-823-0150. Tips leading to an arrest may be eligible for a cash reward up to $1,000.