As Christmas grows near, Santa’s naughty list will be increased thanks to local hoodlums looking for a quick score.
“Every year at this time, between Thanksgiving and New Years, the amount of burglaries, break ins, home invasions and thefts and purse snatchings goes way up all across Logan County,” said veteran law enforcement officer Robert Ward at a recent meeting of the West Logan Town Council.
Ward said that during the holidays many people are happy and relaxed and wind up letting their guard down, which makes it easier for them to be taken by criminals.
“It’s always important to be aware of your surroundings, your wallet and basic home and personal security, but now more than ever,” Ward said. “A lot of people have ideas about criminals they get from Hollywood movies, but unlike the movies the typical criminal is not looking for a big score or a complicated caper. They are just looking for an easy and quick opportunity to steal from you to get cash for drugs.”
Ward said there were two recent ATV thefts, one in West Logan, which has been nearly crime free for months and another outside his town. He pointed out that in another part of the county a home owner encountered two people trying to break into his garage.
“When he confronted them there was some altercation and the alleged thieves fled,” Ward said. “Their car got bogged down in the driveway however.
In neighboring Mingo County, two men allegedly broke into a home and stole several firearms- which they reportedly used to perform a home invasion on another Mingo County residence.
“There are some basic common sense things you can do to avoid being taken in by thieves,” Ward said. “If you are not home, leave the lights and television on. To a potential burglar if it looks like somebody is there, they may pass your home by to pick on a place that looks deserted.
“If you are shopping out and about, try to park close to the store or under a light. Do not carry so many packages that you cannot see your surroundings. When you do get into your car, lock the doors and get a move on. If you are shopping at multiple stores, do not leave purchases or valuables out where people can see them. If you can, stow them in your trunk. One year up at the mall somebody stole a refrigerator out of the back of a pickup. Other things to think about are only carrying enough cash to make the purchases you plan, and ladies, please, hold your purse close to your body. We had a woman whose purse was grabbed one year and she got partially dragged by a car. It is sad to think that at this time of the year of all others that you have to be cautious, but an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of worry after the fact.”