An obscene message lashing out at Jackson’s new Mayor is left behind at the scene of a burglary on Bailey Avenue. Police have one man in custody, but store owners say the crimes have them wondering if it is time to call business quits.
Looking over the shelves at North Jackson Wine and Liquor, store owner Gloria Grizzell counts more than $600 in merchandise stolen. “They took some of the fifths of gin here and some of the fifths of Paul Masson,” said Grizzell.
Daylight revealed the broken lock the burglars left behind and a message saying “F*#! Frank Milton,” a misspelled attack on Jackson’s mayor Frank Melton. Obscene graffiti covers the side of the building. A similar message is just across the street.
Jackson police say the graffiti was left by the same two men responsible for a rash of burglaries in North Jackson. Police arrested 41 year-old Melvin Dandridge on Tuesday.
Grizzell says the burglars knew what they were doing, stealing the VCR and tearing down the wires to the video surveillance cameras. But first they ripped off the electrical meter from the back of the store, keeping the alarm from making a sound.
Police say Dandridge is responsible for at least 18 business burglaries along the I-55 corridor, and is wanted in Memphis for similar charges.
Police are looking for the second suspect. Investigators say more charges could be on their way.
“They took all the premium, what we call premium liquor,” said Grizzell, examining what’s left of her inventory. But the burglars took more than bottles and cash from Grizzell. She says they took her reason to stay in business. “It’s a family business and we’re rotating to try to keep it open, and when this happens you just wonder if it’s really worth it,” said Grizzell.
Mayor Melton had no comment on the graffiti.