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Crime Suspects Becoming More Mobile

Posted by Jennifer Ortega | August 06, 2012 / 04:18pm | Local News, Crime
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) - It's something we're seeing more and more -- people coming from out of town, committing crimes and fleeing the area.

The arrest of an Okolona couple in connection with an Amory breakin and six teenagers ranging from West Point, Oklona and Tupelo stopped in a Columbus shoplifting case are just a few of many recent examples.

"The thing we encountered a lot about traveling criminals is they're so well known in the jurisdiction where they become associated for crime in the jurisdiction that it's easier for them to go somewhere else and operate where they're unknown," said Starkville Police Chief David Lindley.

Officials say they can round up the usual suspects but when the criminals they're looking for are not from their area, it makes it a lot harder for them to be identified.

"If they go into a community such as ours and commit crimes and then leave, it's often difficult to apprehend them," added Lindley.

Lowndes County Sheriff's Det. Travis Robertson says it not always just petty crimes like burglary and grand larceny. He's seen an increase in people coming from other states, creating fake companies, with fake numbers and charging for work.

"That's what they kind of prey on, people that's got a little money that needs something done and they think they can come here and take advantage of them, collect the money and go somewhere else and nobody would catch them," Robertson explained.

Authorities ask local folks to keep an eye out for anything suspicious, and if possible report descriptions or tag numbers of suspects

"Just be aware you know, people that are not from here," added Robertson.

Tag numbers are particularly helpful in catching criminals from out of the area, investigators say.
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