Intruders repeatedly target Belhaven home damaged by storm

Published: May. 13, 2021 at 7:14 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - One storm victim is not only dealing with tree damage to her home, but thieves repeatedly trying to break in.

It’s a recurring problem for a Belhaven resident who has a warning for others in a similar situation.

Merry Barnes was relieved her sister wasn’t injured when a tree fell on her Jefferson Street home last Tuesday, but that wasn’t the last of frightening encounters. Sunday morning she awoke to an intruder.

“I saw a man staring back at me through my screen door with a crowbar in hand,” said Barnes. “I ran back to get my cell phone and by the time I came and opened the door, didn’t see him out front anymore, but he was where the damage was trying to get into the truck with a crowbar.”

The next day she said there was another attempt.

“I awoke to the sound of someone jiggling my screen door and approached the front door again and saw a man looking back at me,” added the Belhaven resident. “Saw a friend over to the side, ran and got my cell phone again and by the time I came out they were pulling off.”

Both times she called police. But the men fled before they arrived.

A week before the storms, a man broke into her screened porch and took her chained bicycle and other items. The recent encounters are disturbing.

“I was very much home and frightened and felt vulnerable, but I know that I’m probably not the only one that that happened to and that’s what’s even more frustrating,” said Barnes.

The Museum of Art’s Director of Academic Program believes the downed tree gave the impression that the home may have been unoccupied.

She said the first intruder backed down the street in a white Honda Odyssey van with a missing front bumper. The two men fled in a 90′s model gold Toyota Corolla.

The tree has been removed. Barnes wants others in her situation to be vigilant.

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