Observant neighbors in Fondren recently put the catchphrase “if you see something, say something” into practice and by doing so helped the Jackson Police Department catch three men trying to steal a dump trailer used to haul construction materials.
For William Brown and Hartman Holliman, their notification that something might be happening on Buckley Drive began when Jinnx, their four-year-old Pit bull, started barking a little after 5 a.m. on Feb 10.
Brown stepped outside and saw two pickup trucks down the street where a 16-foot-long, 7-foot-wide trailer with 4-foot-high sides and an open top sat in front of a neighbor’s house.
Brown recognized a white Ford F-150 pickup from security photos posted on the social networking service, Nextdoor, by Jackson residents who had been robbed.
Just like posts on Nextdoor indicated, the Ford had black stripes down the side that been covered with spray paint. “They were trying to make it look different,” Holliman said.
Brown called the police, and he and Holliman watched as the driver of the Ford began to drive away with the trailer that happened to be filled with a heavy load: brick siding removed from the front of a house undergoing foundation repair.
“They weren’t able to get the jack on the trailer all the way up and there was metal scraping the asphalt and sparks flying,” Holliman said.
The noise drew attention, and the driver soon discovered the weight of the trailer was more than he could handle.
The truck and trailer ended up nearby in a front yard on Cabell Lane, a dead-end street off Buckley Drive, and the driver took off running, trying to catch up with the men in the other truck.
Buddy Graham happened to be in the living room of his home on Cabell Lane, heard the racket and saw the truck with the trailer fly by.
“When I saw it, I thought, ‘He’s going too fast to stop at the end of the street,’” he said. “The next thing I know, he went into the neighbor’s yard at the end of the street.”
Graham said one of his neighbors also heard the commotion, recognized the truck from posting on Nextdoor and called the police.
Along the way, Brown and Holliman had jumped into their vehicle and followed the Ford pickup. They stationed their vehicle on Buckley Drive near the entrance to Cabell Lane.
Brown and Holliman followed the truck with the two men in it until it reached the overpass at Meadowbrook Road and the I-55 and police officers apprehended the men, Holliman said.
Allen Solesbee of Gluckstadt, who owns Quality Foundation, said his trailer was not damaged and the three men attempting to steal it were arrested. “The detective told me one of the men confessed and told on the other two,” he said.
The men could have saved themselves a lot of trouble if they had only glanced over the side of the trailer to see what it held, he said, but their endeavor was doomed from the start.
Loaded with the brick siding, the trailer weighed more than 10,000 pounds, he said. The trailer is large enough that the Ford F-150 that was used in the attempt to steal it could fit inside, he said.
“I use a 2.5-ton truck to pull it,” Solesbee said. We haul a mini excavator inside it sometimes.”
Holliman said he and Brown just happened to be in the right place at the right time to do some good and the postings he saw on Nextdoor motivated him.
“This man took a kid’s battery-powered ATV in broad daylight and I was mad about it,” he said.
Neighbors played a key role in apprehending the three men, Graham said, and that’s a lesson to remember.
He encourages Fondren residents to upload videos and photos from home security cameras directly to the Jackson Police Department Precinct 4 at this link: https://www.cognitoforms.com/FondrenRenaissanceFoundation1/FondrenVirtu…
“You need is to take action if you see or hear unusual things happening,” Graham said. “You don’t need to ignore it and let it go.”