Lock car doors to protect from burglars

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Picayune Police Department wants to remind residents to keep their cars secured and report any suspicious activity in light of a rise in vehicle burglaries occurring throughout the city.

“Ninety-nine percent of burglaries we’ve been working on have been due to people leaving their vehicles unlocked,” Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri said.

For the past couple of months, detectives have been actively investigating these burglaries to make arrests. Recently, officers arrested a man who burglarized a vehicle and attempted to steal from another.

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On Saturday, May 23, Picayune police officers were dispatched to a local apartment complex at 4:27 a.m. in reference to a vehicle burglary, Magri said.

When officers arrived, they met with the complainant who told officers he noticed a suspect, later identified as 21-year-old Nija Bonhomme of 708 West St., shining a flashlight through his vehicle’s window. When the complainant allegedly confronted the suspect, he fled, Magri said.

Officers located two checkbooks and a cell phone abandoned in the direction the suspect fled. Through further investigation, officers were able to link the checkbooks to a vehicle burglary that occurred earlier in the area and the cellphone was identified as Bonhomme’s, Magri said.

On Friday, June 5, officers arrested and charged Bonhomme with one count of vehicle burglary. He has since been released on a $15,000 bond, Magri said.

In order to help prevent car burglaries, residents should make sure to lock their vehicle’s doors, Magri said.

“Criminals walk around neighborhoods looking for an easy target and they keep opening car doors until one opens,” Magri said.

He also encourages people to hide any valuables inside the glove compartment or trunk because criminals are more likely to break into the car if they can see something of value inside.

Since most burglaries occur at night, Magri encourages residents to park in well-lit areas.

Investigators are currently working diligently to find suspects involved in the recent vehicle burglaries, Magri said.