Jackson police arrest six connected to carjackings amid recent spike

JPD cites data showing carjackings down 25% year-to-date versus 2020, but has yet to release it
Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 9:20 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - As carjackings among those who live in Belhaven and Fondren increase in recent weeks, Jackson police have cracked down harder on those believed to be committing the crimes, arresting six people over the last few days.

JPD Deputy Chief Deric Hearn said officers arrested and charged four people Tuesday -- with help from Homeland Security officials and members of the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department.

Seventeen-year-old Jaivion McClendon, 20-year-old Rashun Davis and 17-year-old Dexter Moore are currently behind bars, according to data from the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department.

A fourth person, Jacari Dunlap, was arrested but not listed there.

Hearn said JPD arrested two others on Wednesday -- Jayden Tillis and Xavie Buck -- after recovering a vehicle that had been stolen that morning.

“This vehicle that we recovered on Rutledge Avenue yesterday, this vehicle was stolen earlier that morning, and it was the color white. And they went to Lowe’s and purchased some spray paint and they [had] painted this vehicle black,” Hearn said.

Hearn did not disclose ages of the other three suspects, but did say that all of those charged ranged in age from late teens to early 20s.

He did say he expected more arrests, telling reporters that detectives are still working two carjackings involving a white Ford Mustang as a getaway vehicle, one which took place on Madison Street on Monday.

Hearn did not say whether the city was currently experiencing a spike in carjackings when asked, but instead told reporters that total carjackings for the year are actually 25 percent lower than last year.

Neither Hearn nor JPD provided any data to back up that statistic, however. The department has yet to post updated crime statistics on the city’s website.

Furthermore, since JPD began releasing UCR data instead of the COMSTAT reports the department utilized for years, it has stopped releasing any data on carjackings to the public.

This week’s arrests are welcome news to Jackson resident Chris Wilbourn, who witnessed someone steal his friend’s car last month.

“He was reaching over in his passenger seat to retrieve something. He had a gun pushed to his back and [they] said, ‘Give me everything you have.’ And he said, ‘I don’t have anything. And he just stepped back. And they said, ‘Get out of the way,’” Wilbourn said.

Surveillance footage shows the armed theft took less than a minute.

Wilbourn said his friend had mentioned the suspects looked like they were teenagers, too.

“To the kids involved, you know, I’m sorry that we failed you at this point in your life, where do you think that stealing a car with a gun is necessary? We need to do better,” Wilbourn said.

Police still haven’t been able to locate the vehicle in that case.

“I want to commend JPD on you know, apprehending the suspects [in those other cases]. And their response time to [my friend’s] incident was about a less than five minute response time, with six patrol cars out front,” Wilbourn said.

Hearn urged anyone with information to come forward and help catch those responsible in these incidents.

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