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Thieves beware, youre being watched

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Michael Seiber

The Ellis County Press

Neighbors gathered in southeast Ellis County, from Interstate 45 on the west and east on FM 85, Saturday, Feb. 28, to form a Neighborhood Crime Watch, with the assistance of the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies Nathan Bickerstaff and Ken Hatcher, along with Sheriff Johnny Brown, were on hand to inform and instruct residents how they could help prevent crime around the area.

Approximately two dozen people showed up at 10 a.m. for what was a two-hour learning session on how to prevent crime, such as theft and robbery of their personal possessions, inside and outside their homes and property.

Brown said one of his promises when he came into office was to get citizens involved.

This was the second meeting since he took office in January.

"The sheriff’s department has eight deputies per shift per 1,000 square miles," said Brown.

"With citizen’s help, they can watch for suspicious activity and let the ECSO know. Everyone has a voice and we need their input."

Bickerstaff covered many steps each home/property owner should take.

The remainder of the meeting, he answered questions.

"Homeowners should secure windows, doors and garage doors around the home and any storage buildings or barns," Bickerstaff said.

"When securing doors and windows use devices such as locks or rods but be sure not to screw them shut."

He told the group, "it is not recommended to leave your tractors or other large equipment out in a field, out of sight of yourself or a neighbor, due to the high rate of theft at this time."

Deputy Hatcher told the group, the sheriff’s office is having Neighborhood Crime Watch signs made up to be posted on sign posts, which meet state requirements, throughout the area.

He said the sheriff’s department does provide extra patrol on request for residents who will be going out of town for a vacation or just a few days.

Anyone needing extra patrol should contact either Deputy Bickerstaff of Deputy Hatcher at 972-937-6060.

Literature was given to everyone in attendance on the Ellis County Sheriffs Office Farm and Rural Crime Prevention Recommendations, and on the Neighborhood Crime Watch Program. The Sheriff’s department would like to see more Ellis county citizens get involved and is willing to have a meeting to help organize Crime Watch programs.


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