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Backhoe used to break into Medgar Evers gas station, owner says

Owner says crooks used a backhoe to break into his gas station on Medgar Evers Boulevard.
Owner says crooks used a backhoe to break into his gas station on Medgar Evers Boulevard.(WLBT)
Updated: May. 29, 2021 at 10:19 AM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -A store owner says heavy equipment being used to rebuild the road in front of his business was also used to break into it.

Early Saturday morning, Ala Drabi was notified that his gas station, the Quick Zone at 2710 Medgar Evers Blvd., had been broken into.

The incident occurred around 2:45 a.m., he said.

When Drabi arrived, he noticed that a large backhoe had been used to bust through the wall behind the cash registers.

Inside, a crook or crooks knocked down shelves and display cases and leaving hundreds of packages of cigarettes and other tobacco products on the ground.

The driver of the backhoe also damaged the building next door to the gas station and knocked down the chain-link fence beside it. A portion of the fence was still located in the equipment’s treads.

“He took some money and some stuff… a lot of stuff from inside the store,” Drabi said. “That always happens… a lot of times it happens in the store.

He said he’s been broken into at least 10 times, and said crooks have gone through the walls other times as well.“No one is going to stop them,” he said. “It’s too much.”

Crooks ransacked part of the gas station at 2710 Medgar Evers Blvd.
Crooks ransacked part of the gas station at 2710 Medgar Evers Blvd.(WLBT)

Drabi reached out to Jackson Police Department, who took the information and gave him a report.

He believes the backhoe had been used by the contractors working on a project to mill and overlay Medgar Evers Boulevard.

He questioned whether the equipment had been secured the night before.

Last fall, the city brought on Simmons Erosion Control to repair and repave Medgar Evers from Five Points and Sunset Drive.

The work included doing concrete “punch-outs” along the roadway, or cutting out sections of failed concrete and replacing it.

A section of the road in front of Drabi’s business had been reduced to two lanes.

WLBT reached out to Simmons Saturday morning but did not immediately hear back.

Public Works Director Charles Williams was unaware of the incident when we contacted him.

He said he wanted JPD to complete its investigation into the incident before he gave an official statement. He said it was too early to cast blame.

“We need to find out from JPD what happened,” he said. “We want to see what the investigation uncovers.”

JPD spokesman Sam Brown said he would look into the case but additional details were not immediately available.

“We’ve never had this kind of thing before,” Williams said. “It’s not a good look.”

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