Police chief says keep car doors locked as auto burglaries rise

Published 3:04 pm Tuesday, June 1, 2021

NATCHEZ — Multiple people have reported their vehicles were broken into without their knowledge this Memorial Day weekend.

Tuesday morning, Natchez Police Chief Joseph Daughtry confirmed there had been at least two reports of vehicle break ins last weekend.

Former Adams County Administrator Joe Murray said his, his wife’s and his daughter’s cars had all been rummaged through sometime between 11:30 p.m. Monday and 2:30 a.m. Tuesday between Arlington and St. Charles Avenue.

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The contents of the console and glove box were emptied but nothing appeared to be missing, Murray said, adding the vehicles were unlocked at the time.

“Usually, my wife and I are very conscious of making sure our doors are locked. For some reason, they were not this time but we didn’t really have anything in them,” he said.

Murray said at least three others in the neighborhood experienced the same problem.

One of his neighbors caught a glimpse of people rummaging through their vehicle with their security camera in the middle of the night, Murray said, adding it appeared to be a young child and older adult.

Murray said he had known there to be similar crimes in surrounding neighborhoods that spike around Christmas and summertime when children are out of school.

“We’ve had it happen before, but not recently,” he said. “Looking at Next Door and Facebook, there has been a lot of it going around.”

Daughtry said the incidents are still under investigation and encourages anyone who has had a similar experience to file a report. Daughtry said he is particularly concerned about people having weapons taken from their vehicles.

“I don’t believe there were any weapons taken this time, but we want to make sure,” he said.

Daughtry also encouraged residents to take precautions.

“We’re strongly encouraging people to lock their vehicles and do not leave weapons or valuables inside,” he said. “When a person does not lock their vehicle, it makes it hard on (law enforcement) because they are seen (by the perpetrator) as a soft target.”

Daughtry said people can also help law enforcement by continuously reporting any unusual or suspicious activity in their neighborhoods by calling the Natchez Police Department.

“We encourage people, if they see something out of the ordinary, to call us. Even if you just see a suspicious person walking around the neighborhood. … If your dog is barking, call us. I’d rather people call us and it turn out to be someone out of town visiting a friend than no one call and we find out they are preying on innocent people,” he said.