Vandals Hit Lucedale Businesses - - The News for South Mississippi

Vandals Hit Lucedale Businesses

Sonic owner Ted Riley ran his business for more than 20 years with no big problems. But Riley says all that changed in June 2007.

"Senseless vandalism is what you call it," Riley said.

Riley says vandals began targeting his Lucedale store: breaking doors, windows, and menu boards. 

"We had a juvenile bust a window here on the premises, and he was arrested on the premises."

Riley says he has even been held up.

"They came back and robbed me."

A few of feet away on Winter Street, Ouida Harvard says her florist shop has been hit three times in just four months.

"Threw stuff on the floor, broke arrangements, and that was in the window they threw a brick through," Harvard said.

Now Harvard and Riley say it's time Lucedale Police do something about the problem.

"I would like to see the police patrol a little closer, or keep a check out for us," Havard said.

"Forget about improving the roads, and improving the parks, and get some security for the businesses," Riley said.

Captain Donald Farley says they have increased police patrols.

"The sheriff's department is helping us.  Anyone out there walking, moving, we are going to ask them what going on and get them off street," Farley said.

The Lucedale Police Department is also planning to impose a stricter curfew in the city to get juveniles, who are committing crimes, off the streets.

"We are thinking it's most of the juveniles doing most of the problems, and I think the curfew might correct a lot of problems."

Business owners are hoping these changes will help end their problems.

If you have any information on any recent cases of vandalism, or you would like to report a problem, please call 601-947-3261.

by Patrice Clark

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