Melton election headquarters ransacked - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson, MS 05/02/09

Melton election headquarters ransacked

By Cheryl Lasseter - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Whoever broke into Jackson Mayor Frank Melton's election campaign office in the old Fowler Buick building Saturday morning, did it some time after 1:30 a.m.  Campaign Coordinator Erik Fleming was hard at work at the office until 1:30. "About 7:00 this morning I got a call that someone had broken into headquarters," he told us.

The burglars smashed the glass rear door to gain entry. A flat screen TV and a laptop computer were stolen; more than $3,000 worth of goods. "Paper was thrown everywhere. Someone had gone through every drawer in every desk," says Campaign Coordinator Kathy Sykes. 

"This is a very critical time in an election cycle. I think it's very targeted, to try to disrupt our campaign," Sykes says.  "We're gaining momentum. The people are listening to our message. It's a shame that folks stoop to this level... Politics in Jackson Mississippi have gone to an all time low. Some folks would do anything to try to win," she says.

It's unclear whether the motive behind the burglary was political, or if the campaign office was a tempting target. It's prominent on South State Street, and there's no burglar alarm. "I just think we were an unfortunate target," Fleming says.

"I was informed this morning they did break into the headquarters, kicked the back door in," said Mayor Melton.  We caught up with him Saturday morning at a parade for the West Side Community Center.  He planned to continue campaigning, seemingly unfazed by the unexpected wrinkle in his campaign.  "The police have already been there, done their things. Forensic laboratory people have been by there, getting fingerprints, that sort of thing. They'll deal with that."

As of Saturday afternoon, police had not named any suspects. 

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