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Desoto County Seeing More Crime With Growth

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(Southaven, MS) More and more violent crimes are being committed in Southaven, and some people are blaming their neighbors to the north.

Many families are escaping Shelby County for Desoto, but as good families come in, some say violent people are following.

Twenty years ago, most of the violent crime that was committed in Southaven was from people coming down from Memphis, committing a crime and then going back home, but now as more and more people move from Shelby to Desoto County, crime is becoming homegrown.

Thomas Hewguley moved from Memphis to Desoto County last year.

“We just found it was a lot safer and easier to live in general,” said Hewguley.

Crimes like the one 16-year-old Carlos Dejuan Jones is charged with worry Hewguley.  Police say Jones shot two teens outside Southaven's tennis center a week and a half ago.

LaShaunta Johnson says crimes forced her to stop walking in her neighborhood. Now she walks at a park near the police station.

“I've seen a lot of break-ins. And a lot of people don't want to walk or come outside because they`re scared of what might happen,” said Johnson.

She believes it`s all because of people moving from Memphis to Southaven.

Police Chief Tom Long says the crime rate is still relatively low, but as the population exploded over the past couple of decades crimes have gone up as well. He cites urban sprawl.

“Any family that moves here is going to bring other relatives and visitors and things like that and I think any family has some rouges,” said Long.

Southaven PD started a street crimes unit to stay on top of any crime and gang activity moving down from Memphis.

Southaven has a curfew of 11 p.m. in place for any child under the age of 18, and if you see anyone out past that time you should call the police department so they can stop any possible crime before it happens.