Some downtown Jackson business owners struggle against crime - - Jackson, MS

Some downtown Jackson business owners struggle against crime

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The first thing John Turner, owner of Chemical Products and Systems sees when he drives into work is graffiti. 

"We get out here and pressure wash it off and within a couple days it is back again.  We have gotten to the point where we don't even wash it off anymore," said Turner.

It is just one of the frustrations working at the South Roach Street location.  Last month Turner's water bill tripled from people stealing water out of an outdoor faucet.

"We put a valve to turn this off at night and then all of a sudden my water bill went back to its regular, normal $65," said Turner.

Nearby, the lot next to Jackson Sheet Metal turned into a dumping ground for mattresses, tires and other trash.

"We're trying to run a business and keep our neighborhood nice and this is what we get stuck with," said Jason Anderson, Jackson Sheet Metal General Manager.

He fears the trash and vagrants scare away customers.  Our WLBT crews saw the danger first hand.  During the end of the interview a homeless man approached and threatened the crew with a knife.

"It is just the part about wanting to feel safe," said Anderson. "These businesses that have been here 20 to 30 years are going to leave, go across the river if that's what it takes to have a successful business."

Precinct Two, which includes the area of Roach and Farish Streets, has more crime than any other Jackson Police precinct.

As of June 5th, JPD had accounted for 106 business burglaries with a over 1,200 property crimes in 2011.  Precinct Two also has 206 violent crimes and a total of 1,422 major crimes this year.

"I'm convinced it is a limited amount of people who commit most of these crimes because they keep getting out of jail," said Jackson Police Assistant Chief Lee Vance.

The Police Department has no control over who stays behind bars, so officers are hitting the streets hard with more manpower in Precinct Two than anywhere else.  Nearly all crimes in Precinct Two were on the decline compared to last year.  Business burglaries were down nearly 38%.

"Until it is addressed as a system wide problem we come up everyday, just do the best we can to keep it to a minimum," said Assistant Chief Vance.

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