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Belhaven woman the target of five break-ins in 3 months

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 6:51 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Imagine not feeling safe in your own home each evening, dreading nightfall and each strange sound you hear. That’s the plight of a Belhaven woman, the victim of repeated break-ins.

“What’s gonna happen next? You know, are they gonna go beyond the porch? Are they gonna come in while I’m home?” asked Merry Barnes.

Those are the questions the 36-year-old poses after experiencing five break-ins at her Jefferson Street home in three months.

Wednesday her porch screen was cut and at 1:45 a.m. and 3:15 a.m., cameras captured a woman taking tools and other items she’d placed on the porch to give to Goodwill.

“I live here and I want to feel like I’m safe to go to bed at night and just know that my door and porch being locked is enough, and a lot of nights I go to bed and I don’t feel like that’s enough,” said Barnes.

There were two break-ins in April. It happened two times in May after a tree fell on the house during a storm. One man ran away with items after cutting the screen.

Another used a crow bar to try to pry open the door of the truck trapped beneath the tree. He also fled when she appeared. At this point, the Belhaven resident asks when is enough enough?

“I’m giving myself three months to either buy a house and move or just move out and find somewhere else until I buy a house,” said Barnes. “Because I’m tired of feeling vulnerable and waiting for what’s gonna happen next.”

Barnes attributes some of the crime to increased foot traffic from nearby businesses and the homeless. She wants neighbors to be aware and alert.

“I know I’m not the only one and my problems are minor in the grand scheme of things, but they’re uncomfortable and unfortunate and scary,” Barnes.

The Academics Director hopes for increased patrols by Securitas and JPD to curb the increasing problem.

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