Picayune businesses damaged over weekend

Published 7:00 am Friday, December 6, 2019

Over a dozen Picayune businesses along Highway 11 were damaged the night of Nov. 29 by what police believe was a pellet rifle or bb gun.

A total of 14 businesses from the 100 to 800 block of Highway 11 had signs of window damage, including three car lots that sustained damage to nine vehicle windshields, said Picayune Police Department Assistant Chief Dustin Moeller.

At approximately 4:21 p.m. on Nov. 30, officers were dispatched to Marlene’s Flea Market in reference to malicious mischief, Moeller said. The complainant called police after he received a phone call that the window on the front door to his building was cracked.

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Based on the size of the holes in the glass, officers believe the damage was caused by a pellet rifle or bb gun, Moeller said. As part of the investigation, officers looked at neighboring businesses to see if damage was sustained and found numerous other businesses in the area with damaged windows. Property owners were notified and the case was turned over to investigations, Moeller said.

It appears that someone in a vehicle drove slowly down Highway 11 and shot at random windows with a pellet rifle, Moeller said. The police do not have an estimate of the cost to replace the windows and windshields yet, because of the number of businesses involved. Police are working with property owners to identify potential suspects, Moeller said.

Anyone with information on the cases can contact CID Commander Captain Chris Toft at 601-798-7411 or Pearl River County Crime Stoppers at 601-799-CLUE.

Police are also trying to identify the perpetrators of two commercial burglaries that took place over the weekend. Anyone with information on those incidents can call either number with information and remain anonymous, Moeller said. The burglaries are connected to one another, but the information investigators have currently is not conclusive enough to make a determination if the burglaries and property damage are related, Moeller said.

“As a result of school being out over holidays, we do suspect that it is the work of a few minors, and we’re in the process of trying to identify those involved,” Moeller said.