Proactive Measures Encouraged in Preventing Burglaries

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Lauderdale County, Mississippi A recent home burglary is serving as a reminder for residents in our area to take extra steps to keep from being a victim themselves.

John Cherepanya is one Lauderdale County resident taking a stand against those committing a common crime in the area, burglary. He drove up to his home this past week just as three individuals were burglarizing his home.

"It's time for it to end," Cherepanya says. "Homeowners, property owners, get the proper training and know what to do in the situation."

Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun says burglaries and thefts are the major crimes his deputies investigate in the rural areas of Lauderdale County. In some cases, where items in plan sight are taken.

"Of equipment or items that are outside of individuals homes," Calhoun says. "Or in their cars or in their garages. And so, this is a constant battle that we try to fight not only on the front of apprehending those that commit these crimes, but in preparing homeowners to do the things around their residence and to keep an eye on their home and their neighbors homes."

Calhoun says being vigilant and being able to give a detailed description of a suspicious individual is crucial in solving a burglary. That was the case this past week when three people, including a juvenile, were taken into custody for burglarizing Cherepanya's home in the middle of the day. Calhoun tells Newscenter 11 the middle of the day isn't uncommon because that's when most people aren't home. In some instances, he says the bad guys will knock on the door first to make sure no one is home.

"There are a lot of technological advances today with security cameras, as well as alarm systems," Calhoun explains. "But nothing's better than making sure if you're at your residence that you go to your door, don't open your door, but make them aware that you are home. And that way if you suspect something suspicious is going on, make that call to 911 so a police officer or sheriff's deputy can respond."

As for the guys who burglarized Cherepanya's house this past week, he says they are lucky they were only taken into police custody.

"Oh, they're very lucky," Cherepanya adds. "Very, very lucky. Because had I had my pistol with me, I believe the outcome would have been different."

If you have any information about any recent burglaries in Lauderdale County, you are asked to call Crimestoppers at 601-485-1860.