Local sheriff warns how potential criminals target your property

CHICKASAW COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – An escaped convict was recently accused not only of breaking into a home but also of killing a motorist who tried to help him after a crash.

Both of these crimes happened in relatively rural settings.

There are still three inmates on the move. And they may be avoiding more high-profile areas, like cities and towns.

That recent prison escape has the public on high alert.

Law enforcement officers have some crucial advice on how to deter potential criminals from targeting your home or vehicle.

Intruders and burglars are always looking for an easy way in. Open windows and unlocked doors are just a couple. Criminals will watch the property and even knock on your door to make sure no one’s home.

“They look for houses that are secluded at night if they don’t have any lights on,” said Chickasaw County Sheriff James Meyers. “During the daytime, they’ll just walk to your house and knock on the door. And if somebody answers, they’ll just come up with an off-the-wall story as to they’re looking for somebody. And if nobody answers the door, if the door is unlocked, they’re just gonna let themselves in. But they look around. They look for security cameras. Security cameras are a big asset now. Prices on them have gotten so low now. We encourage everyone to buy a security camera. We solve a lot of crimes that way now with the public’s help.”

The state has been on alert since four inmates escaped from Hinds County earlier in the week.

Meyers urged people not to give criminals convenient opportunities to escape with their property.

“We tell everybody now: don’t make things easier than they are. It’s just like you’re gonna hear about somebody escaping somewhere across the nation. When they do, they’re looking for the easiest and the quickest way to get gone, without drawing attention to themselves,” said Meyers. “What they do is: if they’re looking for a vehicle, if the keys are in it, they’re gonna steal it. So we try to tell everybody: you can help a lot just on the front end by not leaving your keys in nothing, especially your vehicles. Cause if people are looking for something to steal, if the keys are in it, and they come up on it, they’re gonna steal it.”

The Columbus Police Department’s Public Information Officer said preventing your car from being stolen isn’t the only reason to keep your doors locked.

“It’s always good to keep your car doors locked no matter what,” said CPD Officer Johanna Owusu. “It’s really important now because although we have a lot of updated vehicles that aren’t able to be hotwired a lot of times, it’s more or less when you’re at a stop sign, stop light. You don’t want to have that split second where someone who doesn’t have good intentions comes and snatches you out or anything like that. So if your car doesn’t have the capability of locking from the inside while it’s in drive, you definitely want to make sure that you’re driving with it locked.”

And remember, If you see something, say something. Report any suspicious activity to your local law enforcement.

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Categories: Featured, Local News