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Crime heats up in early summer months

By By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
May 29, 2002
Wesley Harmon was putting his 1-year-old daughter in her car seat in the back of his Toyota 4-Runner on Tuesday morning when he noticed something strange: his back window was broken.
It was around 7:30 a.m. and Harmon was preparing to take his daughter to day-care before heading to work at the Lauderdale County School District.
Harmon's vehicle was one of at least four in the North Meridian area broken into during the early morning hours Tuesday, police said.
They also were among a rash of crimes, including armed robberies and residential burglaries, in the Meridian area in recent months.
MPD investigates
Detective Deano Harper, a spokesman for the Meridian Police Department, said his agency is investigating several auto theft cases that have happened in Meridian in the past six weeks.
Harper said police are also searching for two suspects in the Memorial Day weekend robberies of the Winn-Dixie on Highway 19 North and a customer outside Rite Aid on 18th Avenue.
On Sunday afternoon, a man approached a parked car in the parking lot of Rite Aid. He forced his way into the vehicle and demanded money from a man in the car.
Harper said the suspect is black, about 6 feet tall, has a medium build and was clean shaven.
Strong arm robbery
On Monday, at about 4 a.m., a man wrestled with a cashier at the Winn-Dixie on Highway 19 North and grabbed money from the cash register.
Harper said the man fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money and was last seen wearing a tan shirt and tan pants. He is described as black, 5 feet 9 inches and medium build.
As the summer approaches, Harper said, crime increases.
In April, MPD reported 63 auto burglaries and 33 residential burglaries. By mid-May, Harper said MPD had already reported 34 auto burglaries and 21 residential burglaries not including the incidents last weekend.