Crime

Masked men burglarize two businesses in 45 minutes, officials say

Burglary suspects caught on camera

Three burglary suspects involved in two breakups are caught on surveillance cameras outside of the Shell on US 90 in Ocean Springs.
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Three burglary suspects involved in two breakups are caught on surveillance cameras outside of the Shell on US 90 in Ocean Springs.

Three masked men burglarized two businesses Tuesday morning, and surveillance video at each business shows them driving off in the same van, officials said.

The burglaries occurred in Ocean Springs and just north of the city.

The first break-in occurred about 1:15 a.m. at the Shell gas station at 1120 U.S. 90 in Ocean Springs. The store’s front door was pried open and a safe and ATM were stolen along with cigarettes and energy drinks, Police. Capt. William Jackson said.

Security video shows a newer model Ford Econoline van pulled up in front of the station and pry bars were used to force open the front door, he said.

The video shows the men on lookout, and using a cart to roll the safe and ATM out of the store. The cart, which they left behind, belongs to the store, Jackson said.

The van then headed east on U.S. 90, also known as Bienville Boulevard.

The second occurred about 2 a.m. at Polk’s Drug Store at 6008 Washington Ave.

Deputies responding to an alarm found someone had partially forced open the front door, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell said. The burglars apparently were startled when the alarm went off and drove away in the same van as the one shown in the Ocean Springs case, he said.

Nothing was taken from the drug store.

The ATM was found in a small pond near the corner of Washington Avenue and Palfrey Street. It had been busted open, Jackson said.

The safe had not been recovered by late Tuesday afternoon.

Anyone who noticed suspicious activity or has information is asked to call the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office at 228-769-3065 or 228-769-3063, or the Ocean Springs Police Department at 228-875-2211.

Tipsters can call Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898 or go to mscoastcrimestoppers.com.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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