Crime spree in East Gulfport has residents on high alert - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Crime spree in East Gulfport has residents on high alert

Reinette Browne lives just down the street from one of the restaurants recently robbed. (Photo source: WLOX News) Reinette Browne lives just down the street from one of the restaurants recently robbed. (Photo source: WLOX News)
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    (Photo source: WLOX)(Photo source: WLOX)

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GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

A Subway worker robbed at gunpoint. A shooting near the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. An armed robbery at Papa John's.

Four East Gulfport crimes - all within a week - have residents on high alert.

“It’s right at my front door here,” said Reinette Browne. “It’s walking distance to my house.”

Browne lives just yards away from one of the Subways robbed on East Pass Rd.

“I don’t know where it’s stemming from,” Browne said. “Is it drugs? People have just gone crazy. The gun laws they’ve passed, I don’t have no idea.”

Arrests have been made in all the cases, something Browne says puts her at ease.

“I am glad they’ve caught some of them,” added Brown. “Hopefully, that was it.”

Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania, who says crime numbers are down from this time last year, understands the worry. 

“Numbers don’t make people feel better,” Papania said. “You’re only as good as the last incident, and we’re all concerned that you have someone so brazen to do all those robberies that just occurred.”

Mayor Billy Hewes says communication is a key.

“The fact of the matter is, the more awareness we have, the more involvement from the community, the more reporting we have helps us get to these and be preventative as well as responsive.”

The crime spree has left resident Danielle Sinopoli Miller stumped on a solution.

“Honestly, I don’t know,” Miller said. “I know there’s always been crime going on, but it just seems to be hitting a little bit more closer to home. What more can be done about it, I don’t know.”

Dan Williams suggests involvement.

“People around here, we just need to be more aware,” he said. “We need to get more involved with the police, and things that happen, we need to turn it over to the police. If you see something, report it.”

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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