Elba Community Watch Program

By: Mike Gurspan
By: Mike Gurspan

Citizen involvement played a role in solving two-recent burglaries in one Wiregrass city. The "community watch program" in Elba has taken quite a "bite out of crime" there.

In the last two weeks, the eyes' of the community has led to the arrest of suspects in a home burglary on Claxton Avenue and the identity and eventual apprehension of a 15-year-old in a vehicle break-in.

For Elba grocery store owner Denise Burks, it's a good feeling that her neighbors are watching out for her and the business.

"Everybody knows everybody. It makes it easier to know that folks are looking out, and it’s a close-knit community," said Burks.

Elba Police Chief Freddy Hanchey credits the community watch program as the key factor in the capture and arrest of the burglary suspects.

"We’ve had good luck this week. Folks here have alerted us on suspicious activity and has led to the arrest of two people in two occurrences," said Chief Hanchey

In recent years, James Gray has had several of his rented mobile homes destroyed by arsonist.

Fortunately no one was hurt, but he hopes community watch will curtail any future criminal destruction.

"This is great; it'll help cut down on burglaries, arsons, home break-ins. it's good to hear," said Gray.

Chief Hanchey says being attentive to your surroundings and reporting suspicious activity is even more important during the Christmas holidays.

Anyone noticing suspicious activity in Elba should call police at 897-2555.

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