Burglary Victim Speaks Out

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Meridian, Mississippi A local man was the victim of a residential burglary on Wednesday after he returned home to find a suspicious vehicle in his driveway.

John Cherepanya says he approached the driver of that car and asked him why he was on his property. Cherepanya tells Newscenter 11 that's when the car sped away and he knew something was wrong.

Cherepanya was planning to meet his wife for lunch at home until he found himself chasing two of the burglary suspects out of his house. The two suspects ran into the woods and Cherepanya then alerted authorities. He says he's not about to let this sort of thing happen on his property ever again.

"I'll tell you what's going through my mind," Cherepanya says. "More people need to stand up. More people need to not let this stuff happen. More neighbors need to watch what's going on in their neighborhoods. Because I can guarantee you right now, my neighborhood, if you don't belong there, you're going to get questioned."

"Obviously, any time you have individuals that you suspect of burglary, one of the things you are looking at is patterns," Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun explains. "And also to see if they have committed other acts of burglary or other crimes in the past."

Calhoun says investigators ended up apprehending Cleveland A. Burks, Jr. and Patrick King. A juvenile suspect was also involved in the burglary, but his case will be handled in youth court.

Cleveland Burks, Jr., 34
Patrick King, 18