Stolen newspaper racks recovered

Published 4:40 am Sunday, December 6, 2009

Three newspaper racks, one of which was the Picayune Item’s, were stolen from a Poplarville convenience store last weekend and later found in a creek off of Grover Road.

The racks were taken form the former Conoco gas station in Poplarville sometime between early Sunday morning and Monday at about 1 a.m.

Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said the department got a call about someone dumping items off the bridge along Grover Road Monday at 1 a.m. A closer look at the items showed they were the newspaper racks. With the recent rains and subsequent high water levels in the creek, Sheriff’s Department personnel were unable to pull the racks from the creek until Friday afternoon.

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As department investigators Christa Groom and Shane Egger worked to pull the racks from the chilly water, it was evident that all the recovered racks had the locks and money removed. Two of the three racks still had papers in them.

No suspects have been arrested at press time.

Item contract employee Bob Robinson said the Item rack taken from the gas station is part of his regular route, and this is not the first time this year he has had one of his racks stolen. In May of this year another rack was taken from the Circle D convenience store in Poplarville.

Missing racks mean less money for Robinson, who earns a living from the sale of papers from those racks. Each rack collects about $50 week, of which he gets a percentage. When those racks come up missing he misses out on that revenue.

“It puts the hurt on me ‘cause that’s money I don’t have and bills I can’t pay,” Robinson said.

Papers are still sold at the Circle D, however they are now sold inside the store instead of out of a rack.

Robinson also deals with another theft problem with selling papers out of racks, customers taking more than one paper after paying to open the rack. Robinson said most of those kinds of theft occur with Poplarville Democrat racks, a sister publication to the Item. This week alone about 60 papers were missing from a Democrat rack.

Information about possible suspects for the theft of the racks can be directed to the Item at 601-798-4766 or the Sheriff’s Department at 601-749-7700.