Pellet gun mischief continues

Published 1:03 am Friday, June 29, 2007

NATCHEZ — Residents and business owners have had to shell out big money to replace windows shattered by pellet guns, and police are getting tired of it.

Windows on houses, cars and businesses have been shot at with pellet guns, Natchez Police Sgt. Craig Godbold said Thursday.

“We’re up to 70 or 80 (reports) this month,” Godbold said. “My file keeps growing.”

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The vandalism started the first week of June and initially peaked on weekends. Now, it’s every day, he said.

“We had five reported (Wednesday),” Godbold said. “It’s costing a lot of people a lot of money. To replace a plate glass window, it could cost you $500 easily.”

Those shooting out windows are probably driving around while they do it, he said.

“It’s not in one part of town — it’s everywhere,” Godbold said.

Police have been on the lookout for whoever is shooting the windows, but so far, no arrests have been made.

“The problem is (pellet guns) are silent,” Godbold said.

“Unless you see them stick the gun out the car window and see the window shatter, there’s nothing we can do.”

Godbold said he urged people to call Crime Stoppers if they see anything.

“People need to be watchful and call us,” he said.

The public has helped before, he said.

“A while back, we had people throwing rocks through windows and we had someone see the people do it, and they called and told us,” he said.

Still, Godbold said he was optimistic about stopping the violators.

“We will catch them, and we will prosecute them,” he said. “With the amount of damage they’ve caused, they will probably be charged with felony malicious mischief.”

That charge can carry fines and jail time, he said.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 601-442-5000.