Armed robberies up in Hub City, investigations ongoing

Armed robberies up in Hub City, investigations ongoing
Photo credit: WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg Police Department is investigating the most armed robberies in a single month in more than two years in the Hub City.

"Over the past couple of weeks, we have had calls for service that were reported as some type of robbery," Hattiesburg Police Lt. Jon Traxler said.

At least seven armed robberies have been reported in July 2016.

Here is a list of those armed robberies and their locations:

  • 7-24-16 –1501 Broadway Drive
  • 7-23-16—2300 Block Alice Drive
  • 7-16-16—600 Block Magnolia Avenue
  • 7-16-16—2502 West 7th Street
  • 7-11-16—1857 Lincoln Road
  • 7-9-16 – 3610 Campbell Drive
  • 7-8-16 – 5729 Highway 49

The last time the Hub City recorded more than five armed robberies in a month was May 2014, which had 10.

"We've had our legitimate robberies, but we've also had those who turned out to be something other than a robbery," Traxler said. "Even though we put it out weekly, everyday as to what may have been reported the day before, a lot of that stuff is actually found out to be something different because it may have gotten reported as a robbery, but in actually it was a larceny, petit larceny, grand larceny whatever of that nature, we are able to clear those up and have a solvability to them."

Traxler added that two of those have been cleared by arrests, and at least one person of interest is being sought in another three.

"We are investigating these, and those that we find to not be legitimate robberies, if the person files a false report, we are actually signing charges on them for filing a false police report," Traxler said. "We are finding out that some of these crimes, with the help of the public, are turning out to be something other than a robbery."

The locations are scattered throughout the Hub City, and police officials said it is not just one area that is being targeted.

"To say that a specific location is a crime of opportunity, any location, we are seeing it at different places, so it's not one specific location," Traxler said.

Even though crimes are reported, those statistics can change by the year's end when the overall crime stats are completed and the cases have progressed, according to Traxler.

"Until we either prove or disprove that the crime happened, it stays open and active, until we close it or we can prove that this robbery was a robbery or this robbery was a larceny or it was actually nothing, it was a bogus report and we turn it in to a filing a false police report incident those numbers stay fluent," Traxler said. "Just because it gets reported today as one crime, does not mean that tomorrow it may not be a different crime."

Traxler said officers are more visible around service stations and restaurants in the Hub City. This is just one of the many efforts to push crime out.

"To the Hattiesburg Police Department, if we have one more reported than we had the week before, the month before, even the year before, we take that to heart and we do everything we can to reduce those numbers by proving service for our public," Traxler said.