Keeping criminals from making you an easy target

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Whether it's the economy or perhaps the holidays that might be motivating some criminal activity, Greene County investigators want the public to be aware and stay safe.

"He took her to the kitchen and asked her to sit down where he could speak with her and told her he was going to measure the house.   While he was speaking with her, another male subject entered the house and proceeded into the bedroom," Greene County Sheriff's Department Investigator, Captain Bruce Drope.

Hours after the two men left the home, that 91 year old homeowner in the Light area, realized money and some jewelry were gone, according to the Greene County Sheriff's Department police report.

"Within the next 10 to 12 days within a 3 to 4 mile radius of the same area, back toward the Walcott area, we had 2 to 3 calls," said Drope.

Calls reporting the same type of incident, but Drope says this time the strangers weren't let inside any homes.  It's prompting investigators to remind people of tips to help avoid becoming a victim:

like not opening the door to strangers

ask to see ID if they claim to work for business, and check on elderly friends and relatives.

"I think basically it's economical and a sign of the times," said Drope.

Drope says while they don't think these incidents are due to the holidays necessarily, he does say they tend to see an increase in thefts during this time.

"Stop and grabs I call them....stuff that people leave in the yard or stuff in the carport," said Drope.

He says lock up your equipment, and take the keys out of lawnmowers and atv's--don't make it easy for criminals to make you a victim.

"If they're going to grab it or try to steal it, make them work for it because a lot of them will not spend extra time working for it," said Drope.

Drope says the strangers knocking on doors and offering to measure homes to help cut energy cost started in early November.

Drope says they're also getting reports of what police believe are check scams--saying send "x" amount in and you'll get even more back.

He reminds people if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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