Jonesboro taking precaution for holiday with unsolved assault cases

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Halloween is all about being scary, but with several sexual assault investigations still pending, when trick-or-treaters come a knocking, there's some fear about what residents are opening their door to.

It's the time of year for ghouls and goblins, and for west-end resident Joey Moss, like every year, "I'm always alert with my kids no matter what," said Moss. But, this year is a little different.

"Well, we had that first homicide and that stirred everybody up and now this," said Moss.

A string of sexual assaults still remain unsolved. He says in the past, their neighborhood has had a wide range of the trick-or-treaters. Come Monday night, kids will flood the streets to fill-up on goodies.

"A lot of kids come together in groups, and parents are always with them, which is good. I see a lot of adults coming to my door too," said Moss.

We've talked about safety when it comes to those going door-to-door, but what about the people dishing out the Halloween cheer. When a masked character comes knocking at your door, how do you really know if they're out for treats and not tricks.

"You don't. Especially if they're wearing one [a mask], make-up, you don't know who they are. So yeah, we are all going to be a little bit more suspicious of people," said Moss.

Sergeant Steve McDaniel with the Jonesboro Police Department says they've never had any serious issues on Halloween other than the occasional vandalism, but says it's always important to keep an eye out.

"People should be vigilant every year. What we would say, is before you open your door to someone, if you could, look through a peep hole or check outside," said McDaniel.

If something doesn't look right, don't answer the door. "If it's too late in the evening and you think the Halloween festivities should be over by then and there's suspicious activity in the area, don't hesitate to call the police," said McDaniel.

McDaniel says it's also not a bad idea to have someone in the house with you, they can not only act as a helper, but they can be there incase something were to happen.

As for Moss, he says the community is looking out for each other. "We all try and keep in contact with each other, like I said the West End does send out e-mails, and they watch out for you," said Moss.

Moss plans to enjoy the holiday with his children but says he'll probably turn out his lights a lot earlier this year.

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