Region 8 residents fight back against crime

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) – Residents are fighting back against crime in their neighborhoods in one Region 8 community.

Blytheville residents said crime in the city has increased just within the last several years, but it's enough to make them want to help each other, and the police.  Blytheville police said they made arrests last weeks based on tips from citizens.

Hugo Aguilar was at home during the most recent break-in that happened last week in the middle of the day at the home he shares with his father on the 400 block of East Kentucky St. in Blytheville.

"They tried to hit it, I think, with a bar or something, trying to open the door, and they hit it with their feet, because I heard the noises. I was in the room," Aguilar said.

Aguilar said the break-in was the third incident since 2010, and the front door is one of several ways burglars have forced their way into his house. He said they have broken windows in the front and back of the house, and his father had to replace a back door. Blytheville police said they captured the burglars around Laclede and Missouri Streets because residents called to report suspicious activity in the neighborhood.

Blytheville police caught Demarcus Williams and Rodrek Hill based on an anonymous tip three days after the break-in at Aguilar's house. Police said they found Williams and Hill hiding in a backyard shed after breaking into the home of an 82-year-old woman who lives on West Main St.

Scott Edwards also lives on West Main, and says he's seen the crime in his own backyard.

"I was in my house and I was watching TV, and I heard some dogs barking that don't usually bark unless there's somebody around. So I just looked out the window. I guess it was about 8:30 in the morning, and I saw two black men jumping this fence. What was abnormal about it they had a 50 inch flat screen TV in their hand as they were jumping the fence."

Edwards said he called police, followed the men, and scared them enough to drop the stolen goods.

"I'm also a firefighter here in town and I have my portable radio and I was talking to the police on my radio as I was chasing them."

He said the Blytheville police work hard, but residents can do their part too.

"Now a days you have to help the police. Nab who you can nab because there's so much criminal activity that they can't do it all. So, we have to do what we can do."

The Blytheville Police Department has been hosting a crime prevention series in January. The topic for the final seminar of the series Thursday night at 6 p.m. at the Greater Blytheville Area Chamber of Commerce is home security.

Anyone who has questions about the seminar should call the Blytheville Police Department at 870-762-0405.

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