By Rupert Howell
A 2003 Dodge Caravan was stolen at The Junction on Highway 35 North and I-55 Friday afternoon at about 5:45, according to BPD Lieutenant John Miller’s incident report.
The van belonged to Teen Challenge Ministries and was being used by three of that program’s participants who were conducting a fundraiser in the convenience store’s parking lot.
Teen Challenge of Mississippi, Inc. is a 12-15 month discipleship training facility for women 18 and older, according to Facebook.
Miller’s report states that women working at the booth left to use restroom facilities in the convenience store and upon their return found the van and $280 in cash, proceeds from the fundraiser, gone.
The vehicle’s estimated value was $7,000. Its VIN was entered into the National Crime Information System.
In other police department news—
• Incident reports over the weekend from BPD included a complaint of fraud from a victim who on Thursday, July 17 received a call from a man posing as his son saying he had been in an accident in Canada while attending a wedding.
The caller said he needed $1,500 to pay fines before police there would release his wife and suggested it had to be cash or a Green Dot card.
The caller got the Green Dot card information from the victim after a Green Dot card was purchased from Walgreens. The victim was contacted the following day and told that authorities in Canada had agreed to drop all charges if the victim would pay an additional $2,500 to cover damage.
After giving the additional Green Dot information to the caller, the victim reached his son who said he was not in Canada but in California and had not left the state, according to Patrolman Bill Furniss’s report.
• Cash boxes at Speedy Car Wash have been cut off machines, possibly by torch, and emptied, according to a Sunday July 20 report by Lieutenant John Miller. The report stated that the same thing had happened the prior week but was not reported.
The boxes were estimated to have $50 in coins in each. A worker who left at 6 p.m. the previous night noticed no damage to the boxes according to the report.
• In other police business, Batesville’s mayor and aldermen approved payment of $9,200 to purchase a trained police dog to replace a dog killed by a hit-and-run driver on I-55. Police Chief Tony Jones reported the dog’s death at the June 3 meeting. The officer handling the dog had been called to the interstate to investigate an accident, the police chief told city officials. Aldermen voted unanimously at their July 15 meeting for the purchase that also included training for the officer who is to handle the canine.