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Daring armed robberies give reason to worry

By Staff
Aug. 30, 2001
Experts say it is a sign of a bad economy when a rash of armed robberies breaks out in a community as thieves seek sources of ready cash. The victims are often unsuspecting and law-abiding people whose personal safety is compromised by one blatant criminal act.
Meridian seems plagued by such a rash as armed robberies take a turn for the brazen. Daring daylight robberies at various parts of town have many citizens wondering if the incidents are somehow connected.
Some of the incidents apparently have not been disclosed. The two most recent incidents reported to the public as of this writing took place last Saturday and last Monday.
The Saturday night robbery involved a gunmen who robbed a Super 8 Motel guest as he returned to his room. It occurred at the Highway 11/80 East motel shortly before midnight. The Monday robbery took place at about 9:45 a.m. in the parking lot of O'Charley's Restaurant at Bonita Lakes. A gunman smashed a woman's car window and robbed her of her purse and a bank bag with the restaurant's weekend receipts. The cases are under investigation and in both cases suspects apparently fled on foot.
While these incidents are disturbing, it is more disturbing that the Meridian Police Department is unwilling to voluntarily release statistical information on the number and nature of armed robberies in our community. Such information could underscore the need for citizens to be careful out there.
In an effort to obtain such information, which would clearly be in the public's interest, The Meridian Star has filed a request under Mississippi's Public Records Act for information on all armed robberies and attempted armed robberies in Meridian from Jan. 1, 2000, through Aug. 27, 2001.
Our request of Acting Police Chief Bennie DuBose seeks information as to the specific time and location of each incident; whether the suspect robbed or attempted to rob a business or an individual or both; the name of the business and individual the suspect robbed or attempted to rob; whether the suspect fled the scene of the crime by car or on foot; when and where the suspect was arrested for the robbery or attempted robbery; and when the suspect was convicted of robbery or any other charges connected with the robbery or attempted robbery.
We will keep keep our readers posted on this request and on the progress of these investigations.
In the meantime, any one with information on armed robberies in Meridian should call CrimeStoppers at 485-1860.