Police are investigating a string of auto burglaries in the Jay and Daniel Street area across from the high school this past Friday.
Chief Chris Robertson said someone got into the cars and took at least one firearm, cash and credit cards.
The vehicles were all unlocked, he said.
Officers are also working to solve a break-in at the Beneficial Pawn Shop on West Bankhead about 3 a.m. Saturday, where firearms were also taken.
Robertson said if anyone has information about either of the incidents, he or she may call the New Albany Police Department at 534-2222 or Crimestoppers of Northeast Mississippi at 1-800-773-TIPS.
“Rewards are available for tips,” Robertson said.
In the meantime, he is stepping up patrols to combat the spike in criminal activity that is usually seen at the beginning of summer, once school is out and temperatures start climbing, he said.
“Everybody has the right to walk the street at night,” he said, “But we can still talk with them if it is real late.” That is to make sure they are not interesting in causing trouble and to protect them from potential trouble-makers as well, he said.
“Secure items in your cars. Put cash, cards and other items in the trunk,” the chief said. “Lock your car and increase your personal security as much as you can.”
He suggests leaving an outside light on at night as well. “It makes it easier for an office to see in your carport and around the house,” Robertson said. “You may have to pay a little more for electricity but it’s a cheap way to enhance your personal security for your home.”
Security and protection are more of an issue because the “service population” of New Albany is growing. “More people are moving around town on a daily basis than ever before,” he said, making it more difficult for officers to know “who belongs and who doesn’t” as they could years ago.
“This is just growing pains for the city and we are adapting,” he said.