A spike in auto burglaries has the Jackson Police Department increasing patrol units and asking residents not to leave valuable possessions in their cars.
The JPD reported a total of 69 auto burglaries from Feb. 8 through Feb. 14, an increase from 47 incidents the week prior. The numbers show a 35.3 percent increase in incidents from this time last year.
Precinct 1 reported the highest amount of car burglaries. Commander Jeremiah Jones said the neighborhoods surrounding New Jerusalem Church off Old Canton Road experienced several break-ins Sunday, Feb. 14. He also reported that several cars were left unlocked and had valuables such as ipods, digital cameras and purses in clear view.
Jones said his unit would increase patrols in the neighborhood on Sundays while church is in session.
"We call this a crime of opportunity, and we have a Quality of Life Unit going out doing seminars and workshops to churches to make them more aware of locking their items up," said JPD Deputy Chief Tyrone Lewis.
In addition to the department's Quality of Life Unit, Lewis reported high participation in the Citizen's Police Academy. The academy shows citizens how the police department operates with classroom instruction and hands-on activities such as ride-a-longs. Currently, the academy has 68 residents enrolled--the largest class the academy has ever had.
"The academy helps us in the community. It helps decrease crime and helps us to focus on other areas," Lewis said.
In other areas, the department saw a decrease in auto theft from 152 incidents to 93 incidents from the same month last year. Business burglaries, however, have increased from 51 incidents to 85, and house burglaries have seen a slight increase from 177 to 179 during the same month last year.
For information about the Citizen's Police Academy, call Sgt. Byron Taylor at 731-425-8443.