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HPD: Two businesses burglarized in one night

Local businesses burglarized July 3
by Joe B. Coates

Two local businesses were victimized by burglars over the weekend of July 2-3, says Byron Swilley, Hazlehurst Police Chief.  Items taken were ‘big ticket’ in nature, Swilley said.

Swilley said, early in the morning of July 3, a truck and a trailer were stolen from Stringer Family Funeral Services on Hwy. 28.  Then, Swilley believes, moments later the burglars struck The Little Engun, located less than a mile east, where the individuals breached a security fence and loaded up two Exmark zero-turn mowers and slipped away into the night.  The mowers were valued at $8,000 apiece, Swilley said, and the truck and trailer were “over $10,000,” he said.  Both were ‘smash and grab’-type jobs, Swilley said.  “We don’t think either burglary took any more than 3 to 4 minutes,” he added.

The incidents are believed to be related to statewide and regional incidents of similar crimes along interstate highways, whereby the crooks are hitting areas from which they can flee quickly.  “We are working locally with Copiah County Sheriff’s Department and with others on the state level to solve these two crimes.  The theory is that they are part of a larger coordinated theft ring,” Swilley said.

Swilley solicits cooperation from the public to help solve these two crimes.  He urges anyone with information that can help HPD catch the suspected burglars to contact his department at 601-894-1181.

Of note:  Swilley said that the two crimes are the first business burglaries to have happened in nearly two-and-a-half years.

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