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If we want a safer city, we must do our part

Another daylight armed robbery in a very public place is likely to alarm Brookhaven residents. That’s understandable.

On Tuesday, an 82-year-old woman was robbed at gunpoint in the Walmart parking lot. Jimmy Burks,  of Jackson, 26, was charged with armed robbery, felony fleeing and two counts of assault on a police officer, Brookhaven Police Chief Kenneth Collins said. The suspect, identified by police as Burks, used a handgun to threaten the woman and took her purse.

It was similar to an incident near the Piggly Wiggly parking lot a few weeks back.

Robbing senior citizens at gunpoint in broad daylight is a different kind of crime than Brookhaven is accustomed to. It’s particularly brazen and callous.

Thankfully, police made an arrest in the case. But it wasn’t easy. The suspect led police on a chase before ramming a truck. He then fled on foot before he was caught. An arrest was made in the other daylight, armed robbery, too.

That’s all police can do, unfortunately. But Collins is hoping the arrests send a message to criminals.

“But then, if you let them keep robbing senior citizens and people in Brookhaven, they think you can come to Brookhaven and you can do what you want,” he said.

Officers can’t be everywhere to prevent crimes like these. It will take vigilance from the community in order to send a message to criminals. If enough suspects get arrested for committing these crimes, maybe the lesson will be learned. And in most cases, it takes cooperation from witnesses and others in the community to make arrests.

If you want a safer Brookhaven, do your part: look out for each other, and talk to police when you have information about a crime.