Car stolen amid rash of overnight automobile burglaries in Montebello neighborhood

Published 5:03 pm Monday, August 29, 2022

NATCHEZ — Several residents of the Melrose Montebello Parkway and Creek Bend Road neighborhoods awoke Monday to find their cars had been rummaged through and one lady in the area reported her car was stolen, according to Natchez Police Chief Joseph Daughtry.

Police are still working to locate suspects but had located the stolen car in Port Gibson at approximately 2 p.m. Monday, Daughtry said.

He added the owners of a total of seven vehicles, including the white Dodge Charger that had been stolen, were victims of a rash of automobile burglaries. He also said that every vehicle was unlocked and the vehicle that was stolen still had keys inside.

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“People are not locking their doors as they should be,” Daughtry said. “This is not Mayberry.”

He said the burglars are using a technique that has been copied nationwide called “bumping” where they check for unlocked cars as easy targets.

“Start locking doors. They’re not busting any windows unless they can see something valuable like a gun, purse or laptop in plain view because it creates too much attention,” Daughtry said.

Apart from the stolen vehicle, police are still determining what if any other items were stolen. Some residents reported that it appeared their glove compartments had been rummaged through but were not aware of anything missing.

“We have some leads working to put the pieces of the puzzle together,” Daughtry said. He added anyone with additional information is encouraged to call the Natchez Police Department.

This is not the first-time automobile burglaries have happened recently.

On Monday, Aug. 22, a resident of the Woodhaven Drive subdivision confronted a man he saw walking up his driveway from a parked car and the man answered with curse words and gunshots. No one was injured, but at least one bullet entered the house.

At least one other resident of the subdivision reported their car was burglarized. Police later arrested Xavier Jenkins, 22, and Tia Groom, 28, in connection with this incident both of whom are detained at the Adams County Jail.

Natchez Police Department shared a “9 p.m. routine” as a reminder of steps people can take to prevent themselves from falling victim to similar crimes.

This routine includes:

  • Turn on exterior lights and security alarm systems or cameras.
  • Hide or bring in valuable items inside from cars, porches or patios.
  • Check for keys to make sure you have them.
  • Lock your car, house, windows, gates, shed and garage.