The Hearne Police Department has noticed a surge of break-ins on the Southside of town and has asked residents to come forward with more information. Although law enforcement is working to crack down on perpetrators, authorities said it’s vital to report these incidents to law enforcement as soon as they occur.
Rudy Ryder owns an antique shop in Hearne and said once he was in the hospital for a period of time; he noticed several break-ins occur on his property.
“Just so many things were taken,” said Ryder. "Lawn mowers, batteries, tools out of my box truck, weed eater were all stolen."
Paul Munsel owns a business just down the street and has also caught wind of other incidents. "I've heard about the break-ins with the vehicles, stolen lawn mowers, and stolen tools and so on."
Hearne Police Department Lieutenant Pat Armstrong credits the surge in thefts to unlocked cars. “If it’s unlocked, they’re going to open it and look,” said Armstrong. “It’s usually quick items they can sell, pawn.” Armstrong said victims of car thefts have reported valuable electronic devices, like smart phones and radios, as well as easy to grab purses as a target. However, businesses like Ryder’s have seen thefts of even more expensive items.
“I took two TVs out of my Suburban,” said Ryder. “I took them out of the back seat to sell and now they’re gone.”
One of the bigger issues that law enforcement has come across is a lack of people coming forward to report crimes once they happen. Armstrong said residents should not hesitate to contact authorities if they notice something suspicious.
“If you see something that is out of place,” said Armstrong, “someone walking that isn’t normally in the area, or it’s 2:30 in the morning and you see someone in the alley, call us.”
Recently, a tool box and other items were stolen from a truck on the Southside of Hearne. Although the suspect has been identified on camera, authorities say he's still on the loose. If you know anything about that theft or any others, police ask that you call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-299-0191.