Some of the "Best of the New South" recently had an auto burglary field day outside the Standard Life building in downtown Jackson.
In the early morning hours of November 8, 2011, while Standard Life residents slept, some Jackson animals were outside the building breaking into their vehicles.
Standard Life Flats-Jackson MS-Auto Burglaries
A total of 5 vehicles were burglarized. The modus operandi was the same for all five. The PoS(s) unceremoniously broke a window, rummaged through the contents and took anything they desired.
Even though these crimes occurred at night, these acts were fairly brazen. The vehicles were not parked in some dark and secluded parking lot. The vehicles were parked directly in front of the Standard Life building. [Note: 127 South Roach Street is the street address for Standard Life Flats. 203 East Pearl Street is approximately 30 yards from the main entrance to Standard Life].
The DJT sympathizes with the victims of these crimes. We know how it feels to come out in the morning and have the perception that a window has been broken out of your vehicle. We are well-familiar with the sinking feeling that comes with the perception that all your property has been stolen. Auto burglary is a particularly maddening crime. It's maddening not only because some S-O-B stole your stuff, but also because most auto burglaries are preventable. The Standard Life auto burglaries were certainly preventable, as the burglars announced their intention to commit these crimes 2 days earlier.
On November 6, 2011, just after 1:00 a.m., five (5) cars were perceived to be burglarized just around the corner at 105 East Capitol Street. These cars were parked on Capitol Street about a block from where the later Standard Life auto burglaries occurred.
Downtown Jackson MS Crime-Auto Burglaries-11-6-11
The break-ins on November 6 should have been a major red flag for those responsible for crime prevention in the area. Auto burglars have a tendency to hit the same area multiple times before moving on to other areas. The first time an auto burglar hits a particular area, his mission is not only to do a few jobs, but also to gather intelligence. "Professional" auto burglars are looking for police and security patrol patterns, as well as citizen traffic and activity in the area. If they are able to pull off their jobs without detection on the first visit (and there is not much heat), they will return to the area a short time later to hit it again.
An average downtown resident might reasonably presume that a burglar would not return to the same area only 2 days later to commit additional burglaries. It just doesn't seem logical. Therefore, no one expects them to return so soon. Auto burglars know citizens do not expect them to return, and that's precisely why they do it.
While this information is outside the common knowledge of the average citizen, it is well-known to those in the business of crime prevention. These same allegedly knowledgeable people sat on their asses and did nothing after the burglaries on November 6. As a result, the thieves returned 48 hours later for some more low hanging fruit. So who dropped the ball?
Standard Life Flats: The DJT is one of David Watkins' biggest fans, but the person or persons responsible for security operations at Standard Life sucks. [Note: We are assuming there is an employee dedicated specifically to security operations at the Watkins properties. If not, then there are bigger issues than these auto burglaries].
Standard Life's security director obviously took no measures to prevent the burglaries. The only question is whether he knew about the burglaries that occurred two nights earlier. If he did not know of the burglaries, then he's asleep at the switch when it comes to tracking crime around the facility. If he knew of the prior burglaries and did nothing, then he is recklessly lazy. If he knew of the burglaries and did not realize that he needed to do something, then he lacks the knowledge to work in security period.
Jackson Police Department: Before tearing off into the cops, we must make it clear that this is not the fault of patrol officers or their front-line supervisors. The failures in this case are far outside patrol officers' responsibilities. This is not a patrol problem, it is an investigation and intelligence problem. This problem can be laid squarely at the feet of the hopelessly inept JPD Detective Division. There are a few good detectives at JPD, but by and large, these are some of the most disorganized and unmotivated law enforcement officers we have encountered.
There is no excuse for not putting the area under surveillance by UCs for several days after the November 6 burglaries. Perhaps a bait car and a plan to take down the burglars when they strike would have been in order. But the so-called "detectives" did nothing proactive after the break-ins on November 6. As a result, the criminals came back to hit the jackpot 2 nights later.
Auto burglaries go unsolved in Jackson because JPD's detectives are not motivated to solve them. Investigating auto burglaries and apprehending the offenders requires taking immediate action. It also involves hard work and sleepless nights. Rather than effort, the detectives take a "Sh!t Happens" approach to auto burglaries. That attitude is why these people are still out there burglarizing other citizens' cars.
[Note: Of the few auto burglars that are caught, most are caught by attentive patrol officers who catch them in the act. If it weren't for patrol officers, no auto burglar would ever be arrested in Jackson.]
Jackson Free Press: The JFP failed by not mentoring, counseling and improving the self-esteem of the perpetrators so that they would stop stealing other people's stuff.
On a serious note, until we get dedicated, professional security directors and JPD detectives who actually want to make auto burglary arrests, we all better keep Safelite's number handy. Odds are we will need it.