Police: Crime Down in Meridian

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Authorities say crime is down in Meridian compared to a year ago, despite a number of recent armed robberies.

Meridian Police say two women were leaving the Best Bodies gym on 27th Place around 7:30 Thursday night when a man allegedly approached them and put a gun in their faces.

"The victims up at Best Bodies were doing exactly what they should have done," Captain Dean Harper says. "They came out, they were together, and they were checking their surroundings. The suspect just came out of nowhere and robbed them."

Across town, authorities say another man robbed the Verizon Wireless store on South Frontage Road around the same time and got away with an undisclosed amount of cash. Captain Harper says it does not appear that the two incidents are related at this time. As for whether the robberies are connected to other recent ones, he cannot say.

"I cannot confirm or deny that that there is anything that would link these to those either," he says.

Police say they are now in the process of going over evidence they recovered from both crime scenes on Thursday in hopes of being able to track down the suspects.

Recently, the Meridian Police Department stepped up its patrols in order to crack down on crime in the Queen City. Police say so far, it appears to be working.

"They're going quite well," Harper says. "Crime still is lower at this point this year than it has been in several years in the past. So, it's definitely an advantage for us."

Investigators describe the first suspect as a black male, wearing a black hoodie and a white handkerchief over his face. Officers say they are also searching for a tall, slender black male, wearing a black hoodie and a black mask. If you have any information, call Crimestoppers at 601-485-1860.