ABERDEEN – As break-ins and acts of vandalism continue in Aberdeen, some local merchants are looking for answers from the city’s police department.
“I have had two windows broken out and my two front glass doors broken out,” said Felix Jackson, owner of Texaco on Meridian. “I’m waiting to hear back on the estimate, but I am certain this is going to cost me thousands of dollars. The bad thing about it is that the police have acted like this is no big deal. I have a $5,000 security camera with the culprits on tape but a police investigator said ‘it wasn’t clear enough evidence’ for them to make an arrest.
“Chief (Henry Randle) told me he was going to have a meeting with all of the merchants about this, but that has never happened. This is a bad, bad situation in Aberdeen and it’s not going to end well. Someone is going to get hurt or worse breaking into these businesses.”
Margaret Alexander, who owns a beauty salon at 102 Meridian St., said she is also the victim of a recent break-in.
“Someone broke into our salon by pushing through the glass and unlocking the door,” Alexander said. “We had a 52-inch TV stolen during the break-in and we are a block from the police department. It took two of us to get the TV in, so it had to take two to get it out. The police did not take fingerprints, file a report or anything. The bad part is that this happened between 7 and 10 p.m.”
Another Aberdeen business owner, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation, said its business also had been vandalized.
“We had some windows broken out,” the owner said. “No one was ever caught, to our knowledge, and we never heard anything back. It seemed like it was a non-issue to the police department as they played it off that it was ‘just some kids.’”
The break-ins have not been limited to the city’s businesses, as residents also have encountered break-ins and theft.
“My truck was rummaged through one night,” Aberdeen resident John Finn said. “The only thing stolen was a cooler, but my toolbox was open and someone had gone through my things. Several of my neighbors have had their lawn mowers and tools and things stolen.”
According to the Aberdeen Police Department report for Nov. 6-12, property was reported stolen Nov. 7 from Hardy Street, a purse was reported stolen from Colonial Apartments on Nov. 8, property was reported stolen from Food Giant on Nov. 9, property was stolen from Shelaine Motel on Nov. 10 and a breaking and entering was reported on Chestnut Street on Nov. 12.
Jeff Clark/Monroe Journal