SPD encourages vigilance as auto burglaries rise

SPD Public Information Officer Brandon Lovelady

Ryan Phillips
SDN Editor

School is back in session for the fall and with a heavy influx of students and new faculty coming to Mississippi State University, local police have seen an expected uptick in vehicle burglaries.

SPD Public Information Officer Brandon Lovelady said since Sunday, Aug. 12, city police have received 27 reports of auto burglaries, a total which is higher than the entire month of May in 2018.

Lovelady then said the seasonal increase in auto burglaries is the result of the spike in population and many of those new faces may be from areas where regularly locking their vehicle is of low importance.

“That total for August is just what’s been reported, because I know a number of unreported because people feel like it’s their fault or there’s nothing we can do but it helps us track them if we know about them,” Lovelady said.

Just from Aug. 13 until Aug. 20, SPD reported 12 auto burglaries, with three on Charleston Drive and two on Hummingbird Lane. Other burglaries during this time were reported on Overstreet Drive, North Montgomery Street, Locksley Way, Hiwasse Drive, Bent Brook Lane, Carver Drive and Yeates Street.

On Wednesday, two men were arrested and charged with auto burglary after a citizen notified SPD of suspicious activity at Academy Village Condominiums on Starr Avenue.

Lovelady also commented that the high-risk areas for auto burglaries have recently been off Academy Road, along with Oak Street, Starkville Academy Road, and Gillespie Street.

“The arrests made this week couldn’t have happened without the assistance of community members and we want to encourage that,” Lovelady said. “Somebody reported it and that’s how we ended up getting them. We can only be so many places and we’re a team.”

Recent trends in the number of auto burglaries reported supports the expected seasonal increase, according to SPD statistics. In May, 21 auto burglaries were reported, while July saw 49.

“They’re on the rise and nearly all of them are unsecured vehicles,” Lovelady commented. “There was at least one this had a broken window but it had valuables laying out on the seat.”

While it may seem like common sense to some, Lovelady said it is important to remember to never leave valuables out in the open, like devices or firearms. There has also been a rash of firearms being stolen out of vehicles in recent weeks and months, which can spur some thieves to

Also, he encouraged those in the community to be mindful of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity.

“If you’re in a high-crime area and see somebody ducking around cars, report it,” Lovelady said. “The main thing is, we want to ask folks to report suspicious activity and give a good description and just reiterate something we say, we’re a team we need to work together, if you see something say something.”

To report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood, contact SPD at 662-323-4131 or Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers at 1-800-530-7151.