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WPPD searching for auto theft suspects

July 22, 2011

The West Point Police Department is on the search for suspects responsible for the eight automobile burglaries that occurred in West Point Wednesday and Thursday nights, which brings the number of automobile burglaries that have happened in the city over the last three weeks to approximately sixteen.
Captain Mike Burgess, head of the WPPD Investigations Department, said a suspect jumped a fence Thursday night into the parking lot of Hannah Bus Tours where travelers parked their cars before going out of town on a Hannah bus. Five vehicles parked in the lot were vandalized, and windows were broken out of some. The keys were left inside one of the vehicles, a 1996 blue Ford Crown Victoria, which the suspect got into and drove through the fence to escape the the area of vandalism. Burgess said the Crown Victoria was found abandoned and vandalized on Carver Street in West Point. No other vehicles were stolen from the lot.
Investigators are following leads into this incident, and Burgess said everyone needs to take precautions when it comes to the security of their vehicles.
“We really want to remind everybody not to leave their valuables out in the open in your parked automobile, and please ensure that you lock your car,” Burgess said. “A lot of these auto burglaries have been with vehicles that are left unlocked. Whoever is doing it seems to be going around, mainly looking for cars that are left unlocked.”
Detective Albert Lee said an investigation into an auto burglary involving a 2000 Jeep Laredo is also ongoing. The Jeep, he said, was parked in the garage of 1155 Mapleview Drive in West Point. Taken from the Jeep was a brown leather wallet, which contained money and personal information of the victim.
Lee said the 2002 gold Mercedes belonging to former WPPD assistant chief Gary Turner was also broken into late Wednesday night at his home on Hickory Drive. The suspect of this auto burglary went through both glove compartments and took two handguns; one semi-automatic and one revolver. Also taken was Turner's old assistant chief of police badge. Turner's identification card was taken along with other miscellaneous items.
“Some of these items were recovered, but the weapons are still missing,” Burgess said.
Turner is giving a reward for tips given to police that lead to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.
A 2007 Chevrolet Malibu that was also parked at a home on Mapleview Drive was broken into late Wednesday night, Lee said. The suspect of this auto burglary rambled through the car's center console and took a silver ladies wallet, but nothing else was reported missing, he said.
Police are asking anyone with information on any of these automobile burglaries to call the WPPD at 662-494-1244 or the Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers at 1-800-530-7151.

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