Millcreek One Stop is burglarized

Published 3:53 pm Friday, November 13, 2009

A suspect or suspects broke into the Millcreek One Stop to steal lighters, cheap cigarettes, coffee filters and evidence that would link them to the crime.

The burglary took place sometime between the close of business Wednesday night and when the store opened Thursday morning. The store has only been re-opened for about three weeks.

Chastity Landrum, the store’s owner, said the burglar or burglars attempted to gain entry through a door with glass windows, but found the lock needed a key on the inside and outside of the door, so instead they gained entry through a front window. Apparently the robber suffered a cut to the body and bled on the window sill and inside the store. Paper towels also were reported stolen.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We figure that was for their injuries,” Landrum said.

Landrum said the only things she noticed missing were the paper towels, coffee filters, money that was in a donation jar to help the store’s previous owner with her medical bills, generic cigarettes and cheap lighters. It also appeared the suspect or suspects attempted to break into the store’s ATM. Blood was left on the machine from the suspect or suspects and the front of the machine had been compromised but not broken into.

The store’s medical merchandise also was rummaged through but none was taken. Landrum suspects it is because none of the medicine she had in stock had the key ingredient to make methamphetamine. Landrum and her sister Tonya Evans suspect that the robbers were already high since they took the cheap cigarettes and lighters instead of the name brands.

In an effort to cover their tracks, the suspects also tried to tear down the store’s surveillance but instead decided to take the DVR to which those cameras were hooked, Landrum said.

Landrum said she bought the store in January and has been fixing it up since. Prior to purchasing the store, she said she worked in it when her family built and owned it years ago. In the store’s 30 years of existence it has changed hands about five times, she said. Since Hurricane Katrina the store has either been robbed or burgled at least three times.

Landrum said she plans to call a major security company to install a professional security system in an effort to make the store more secure , but wants to avoid making the store look unappealing to customers.

“You just don’t want to put bars on the windows of a business that you want people to stop into,” Landrum said.

Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said the incident is under investigation and the department might receive help from the local community.

“We have an active neighborhood watch in this area,” Tucker said. “With this community involvement, we expect an arrest in short fashion.”