Last weekend, a Ward County deputy caught two burglars in the act.
The property owners were out of town when a neighbor reported seeing footprints in the area.
The next day, a deputy went out for extra patrol and found the two suspects running from a quonset.
It’s situations like this one that has the Ward County Sheriff urging more people to utilize the department’s extra patrol program.
A lot of people rely on friends, family, or neighbors to keep an eye out, but a helping hand from law enforcement can make all the difference.
Only about 15 people in Ward County are on the Sheriff Department’s list for extra patrol, but anyone in rural Ward County can sign up, and in fact, the Sheriff wants you to.
“We have a lot of abandoned properties in the county,” said Sheriff Robert Roed. “Not necessarily abandoned, but not being lived on or not being used, machine sheds things like that that are used for the harvest. Those are prime targets for burglars.”
All deputies have access from their vehicles to the extra patrol list.
Deputies may just drive through the area more often or they’ll go the extra mile if you feel your property needs it. (Brian Kellebrew)
“We can keep track of footprints, things like that,” said Patrol Sergeant Brian Kellwbrew. “We do walkarounds of the house, check all the doors, windows, make sure everything is still secure. Then we’ll notate any strange things we see.”
Kellebrew said deputies are in these areas anyway, but taking a closer look in certain areas doesn’t hurt.
“Me personally, I like to go there myself every day, just so that way I know what I’ve seen, day by day, just to kind of keep it fresh in my mind,” he said.
2019 brought a bit of an increase in thefts and stolen property reports compared to last year, but burglaries and motor vehicle thefts are down quite a bit.
With your help, law enforcement can get to problem areas with extra patrol and those numbers could continue to decrease.
“It’s hard for us to be everywhere all the time,” said Sheriff Roed, “but if we know that there’s activity in a certain area, we can definitely get out there and look for that activity.”
If you want to sign up, all you have to do is call the Sheriff’s Department at 857-6500.
They’ll have you provide contact information for yourself or any friends or family who have keys, the dates for patrol, and any details of concern.