Residents Plan Crime Patrol After Rash of Break-ins


An epidemic of car break-ins is sweeping through Mt. Sterling and the community has had enough.
"It's becoming more of a problem, it seems every week. It's horrible," said John Cahill.
There were me than half a dozen car break-ins just last weekend in Mt. Sterling. Cahill's car was one of them.
"They're taking small things. It's petty stuff, but it's still peoples' property," said Cahill.
His neighbor was hit also. And a few weeks ago, it was his truck. The thieves got away with Cahill's GPS.
The culprits haven't been caught in the act, but at least one camera's caught them.
"One of them got on this side of the car. One of them got on the passenger side and they both opened the car and was rifling through the glove box and the center console," said Scott Jewett.
Jewett installed cameras after his Impala was a target twice. Thieves still struck a third time back in the fall.
"The last rash of it was October when our car got hit and for the winter they stopped," said Jewett.
Residents say that's the pattern. The break-ins have been happening in the warm months over the last three years. Investigators have Jewett's video and video from one of the latest incidents, but residents are stepping up also.
"We stick to saying we're not going to have this here and work together as a community to stop it," said the head of the Mt. Sterling Block Watch, Rebecca Rector.
The community block watch will meet this week. They're building a map and pinpointing where the crimes are happening. They're also forming a community crime patrol.
"That's a big thing in this town. A lot of people feel safe so they leave their houses and their cars unlocked," said Jewett.
The block watch meeting will be Thursday night at 6:00 p.m. at the Mt. Sterling library. The block watch is asking for anyone who's been a victim of crime to come and give the details to help with the crime mapping.