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Resident gains new awareness of crime

By Staff
JURY STILL OUT Meridian police continue to wrestle with a growing number of robberies, but incomplete statistical information on other crimes makes 2001 trends difficult to determine. Photo illustration by Marianne Todd/ The Meridian Star
By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Dec. 3, 2001
After being attacked and kidnapped only a few months on the job, Anthony Anderson makes deliveries with his eyes wide open these days.
A Steak-Out delivery man for five months, the 25-year-old was recently ambushed by two men while making a delivery in a residential neighborhood.
Anderson said he feared for his life until he realized the guns they had were BB guns. That's when he put up a struggle and fought his way free.
Anderson's case belongs to the only growing category of crimes in Meridian armed robbery. Statistics obtained last week by The Meridian Star show that other crimes appear to be decreasing.
Determining a rise or decrease in some areas of crime, such as residential burglary, is still difficult because statistics are available only for the first 10 months of 2001.
For example, there were 403 reported residential burglaries for all of 2000 and 334 in the first 10 months of 2001. But with 18 reported residential burglaries in the first two weeks of November, a continuing trend through December could bring those figures to either match or surpass 2000.
At the same time, the number of aggravated and simple assault cases have decreased significantly and consistently since 1999.
In that year, there were 244 simple assaults reported; in 2000 there were 174; and in the first 10 months of 2001 there were 86.
In 1999, police handled 145 aggravated assault cases, while in 2000 that number dropped to 70. In the first 10 months of 2001, the number dropped even further to 22.
Detective Deano Harper, Meridian Police Department spokesman, said that his latest statistics show an overall decreasing trend in crime.
Nevertheless, some businessmen are not taking chances.