Lauderdale County Sees Slight Rise in Crime

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Lauderdale County, Miss. The Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department says there has been a slight increase in crime for 2013 so far, compared to 2012.

In recent months, we've seen a number of cases where homeowners have actually caught burglars red-handed. Chief Deputy Deputy Ward Calhoun says that's because people are simply paying more attention these days.

"I think more people are preparing themselves for that kind of thing to happen," Calhoun says. "In their community, or on their road, or even at their own house. And that is certainly applauded as Americans, we should do that."

As for concerns that crime from within the city of Meridian has spilled over into the county, Calhoun says criminals simply don't choose their targets based on a certain location. That's why he says it is important for all law enforcement agencies to work closely together in order to not give the bad guys the upper hand.

"If those agencies aren't working together and sharing information and working toward the common goal of apprehending those individuals, then we're actually helping them," Calhoun explains. Because by not helping each other, we're giving them the advantage of being able to do that and for them to recognize that their is a possibility that will be to their advantage."

November and December are typically peak times for crime in this area. Calhoun says that's why it's important to think like a criminal and pinpoint the things criminals would be looking for.

"Those items may not be something they necessarily need," Calhoun points out. "But it's something they can sell. Or if the receipts are with them, they may be as bold as to try to return it and get a gift card at a local store. That's happened before."

As always, authorities also encourage you to be aware of your surroundings whenever you are outdoors.