Tupelo auto burglaries spike over recent weeks

TUPELO – Police are used to seeing auto burglaries increase during the summer, but nothing like they’ve seen lately.
Tupelo Police Capt. Bart Aguirre said the city has been bombarded with reports of auto burglaries over the past few weeks. Police have been investigating 30 or more burglaries a week for the past month, according to Aguirre.
“They are really hitting us hard on these burglaries,” said Aguirre. “It’s mostly in residential areas and all of them have been people who leave their car doors unlocked and leave valuables in plan sight. It is very surprising to see so many people who have unlocked vehicles.”
Unlike auto burglary sprees that happen around shopping areas, Aguirre said these strings of burglaries have occurred around residential areas on Thomas Street and Country Club Road. Everything from cash and electronics to guns have been taken from the vehicles.
Aguirre said an arrest last week solved five of the burglaries. Monterrio Robertson, 19, of Tupelo was charged with five counts of auto burglary.
Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson also was having a big problem with auto burglaries, but after making an arrest in May in connection with a string of burglaries, Johnson said the problem has dissipated.
“We made a pretty big arrest that has seemed to solve most of our burglaries at the moment,” said Johnson. “We had a couple since then, but it’s slowed significantly.”
Aguirre said by leaving car doors unlocked and leaving valuables in plain sight, people are making themselves targets for auto burglaries.
“Please just lock your cars and take all your valuables out,” said Aguirre. “People are looking for easy opportunities to make money and if you don’t lock your car doors, you’re providing them with that opportunity.”

Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.

Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal

Click video to hear audio