Natchez police chief’s car broken into in string of burglaries

Published 12:43 am Thursday, August 24, 2017


NATCHEZ — Just weeks into his new job as Natchez Police Chief, Walter Armstrong said Tuesday he has already experienced first-hand the city’s car burglaries problem.

In fact, the chief said his own car was broken into late Monday.

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“They did in fact go into vehicles. How do I know? Because mine was one,” Armstrong said during his report at Tuesday’s board of aldermen meeting.

Armstrong said two teens, one 16 and one 17 years old, are suspects of multiple car burglaries

Police Capt. Scott Frye said the individuals have been charged with possession of stolen property, though they are being investigated for the vehicle burglaries.

Armstrong said most of the burglaries Monday took place around Auburn Avenue and Park Place, with reports coming in starting at approximately 11 p.m.

Armstrong said nothing was actually removed from his vehicle, but items had been taken out of the console and placed on the street.

A resident reportedly spotted the two individuals suspiciously looking into a vehicle, and police were able to track down the two teens, Armstrong said.

Armstrong said one of the individuals was armed with a pistol, which police recovered.

“This is an ongoing investigation, and we are asking anyone who may have experienced an auto burglary to come forward (and) let us know,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong commended Lt. Spencer McCallister — who was just recently promoted — for leading the team that apprehended the teens.

Police recovered some items the teens had on them when they were arrested, but Armstrong said police investigators did not know the owner(s) of the belongings as of Wednesday afternoon.

Over the past few months, police have reported numerous vehicle burglaries in the city, with most instances reportedly involving owners that left their car doors unlocked.

“I encourage everyone to make sure that their vehicle is properly locked and secured and locked,” he said. “I’m a stickler for locking my vehicle, but apparently either I didn’t lock it or they figured out a way to get into it with some other instrument.”

Armstrong also recommended removing valuables from the car when unattended or stashing them in the trunk.

The chief also encouraged those who have surveillance cameras and believe a car burglary has occurred nearby to check their footage. If any resident believes they have captured video of a burglary taking place, Armstrong said to call NPD.

Even if nothing was taken, as was the case with Armstrong’s vehicle, he said that information from the public would be beneficial.

Armstrong said the two juveniles are suspected of attempting to burglarize multiple vehicles, and surveillance footage could help link the individuals to such burglaries.

Going even further, Armstrong asked those with surveillance systems to ensure their cameras are set up to capture clear footage even at night.

“Most of these incidents occur in low light,” Armstrong said.