BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - One Bay St. Louis resident is claiming he's had more than $10,000 worth of items stolen from him over the past year, and that he's not the only one dealing with alleged thieves.
Keath Ladner claims thieves cut the lock off of a trailer on one of his construction sites just last week.
"I was just a day or two late, someone comes along and breaks into this storage trailer here and takes about $3,500 in items," said Ladner.
It's not the first time he's been hit, Ladner says last year someone stole about $8,000 worth of stuff from his storage facility.
"I'm able to replace these items, but there are several contractors that are really small. If they were to take a hit of $3,000 to 8,000 worth of equipment that they use daily for their living, then they would go out of business," said Ladner.
As a life long resident of the Bay, Ladner says he wants to see more neighbors speak up and say something if they see suspicious activity.
"We don't want that stigma getting out that it's not a safe neighborhood to build in. I myself am building one to sale. So, I'm wanting this to be a drastic change and hopefully catch some of these guys so that we don't have that and have a stigma on our community," said Ladner.
Kennedy Bush, who owns B&J Pit Stop, filed a police report about an ATV he says was stolen from behind his business in late January. He says nearby business owners have had problems with theft as well.
"I would like to see the community get together more, and work with the police department to get updates on the criminal access that's going on in the city, so we can all support each other," said Bush.
Interim police chief Daren Freeman agrees with that statement, but says statistics show that property theft isn't up.
"We're actually lower than what we had last year. We're 60 percent lower of reported commercial burglary in the city of Bay St. Louis than what we had last year," said Freeman.
Both residents are offering rewards for information that could lead to information about their stolen items.