By Jennifer Lenain, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
For the 15th year, the Picayune Police Department will participate in the National Night Out and visit with community residents Tuesday evening.
Members of the department will visit three different locations beginning at 5 p.m. to talk to residents about crime prevention and safety, said Capt. Theresa Milar.
Starting at The Pines apartment complex, residents will receive handouts and have time to ask questions before members of the department visit Bridgeway Apartments on Seal Street around 6 p.m., Milar said.
The final stop of the evening will be at The Weems Chapel United Methodist Church on Third Street, said Milar.
National Night Out is an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie and sends a message to criminals, according to National Association of Town Watch’s website.
More than 37 million people worldwide participate in National Night Out.
Questions and interest in participating in the event can be directed to Milar at 601-798-6829.
A rash of recent crimes gives emphasis to National Night Out.
There have been more than a dozen vehicle burglaries throughout the city in less than a week, said Jeremy Magri, assistant to the chief of police. “Investigators are currently pursuing several leads,” he said.
The majority of the burglaries being investigated have been “crimes of opportunity,” and Magri said that is because victims are leaving their vehicles unlocked and valuables in plain view.
The break-ins have occurred in areas off of Palestine Road and Telly Road, Magri said. “Cash, guns, iPods, cell phones and sunglasses are among the most recent items stolen,” he said.
“Please make a conscious effort to lock your vehicles and to not keep any valuables in them,” Chief Bryan Dawsey said.
“Lock your vehicles at all times, even if you’re just stopping to run in a convenience store,” Magri said.