Burglaries, petty crimes prompt WPPD to crack down on curfew

Staff Writer

A rash of car burglaries and other petty crimes is forcing West Point Police to crack down on the city's 10 p.m. curfew. That means not just teenagers but their parents can be held accountable, especially for repeat offenders.

"School's out and we're seeing a big increase inn auto burglaries and burglaries. We understand kids wanting to be out of school and having some fun so we've sot of been lenient. Not anymore. We're stepping up patrols and going to start cracking down," Det. Eric Johnson said Tuesday.
"Parents, keep your kids at home. If it's after 9 p.m., they need to be inside. Parents can be fined if we get them out a second time. We can't and aren't going to let this continue," he added.

The curfew is 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday nights for those under 18. It's midnight to 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

On the first offense, violators will be given a warning. On the second offense, they will be brought to the department, issued a citation and their parents notified. They'll also be referred to Youth Court for possible action. Officers will do an intake form to have the names and information on file in case of possible crimes in the area.

The fine and court cost is $51.50 for the first offense.

"We're getting hit too hard not to enforce the law," echoed Assistant Police Chief Kennedy Meador.

As recent examples, detectives are investigating four car burglaries in the Washington and Illinois street area early Sunday morning. The thieves, who are suspected to be teenagers, used a pry bar of some kind to get into two locked cars and smashed the windows on two others, Johnson said.
Credit cards, lose change, an iPad and other items were taken.

While teens are the suspects, he cases also were another reminder for people not to leave valuables in their vehicles, especially where they can easily be seen.

"Don't leave them and don't leave them in plain view. It's like an invitation," Johnson stated. "I hate to say it, but things are going to happen. The more we take a couple of extra steps, the more we can prevent it."

A 16-year-old juvenile is being charged with the burglary of a home on Dowdy Circle at about 9 p.m. Saturday and another teen who lives nearby is suspected of being an accomplice. The 16-year-old had been by the house before, went to the door and knocked and when no one answered, kicked in the door and made off with about $100 in change in a jar.

The 16-year-old lived elsewhere but was staying with a friend who lives in the neighborhood. The friend is thought to be an accomplice but hasn't been brought in by his parents yet.

The homeowner's doorbell camera captured the suspect on video, making it relatively easy for police to solve the case.

"Everyone should get a doorbell camera. They have audio and video, capture good video and images and they are relatively inexpensive. They are deterrent and they help us out so much," Johnson stated.

"Get them, they are worth it," he stressed.

Meanwhile, a 41-year-old West Point man is charged with possession of methamphetamine, marijuana and paraphernalia after an officer searching for a truck theft suspect questioned the man because of his suspicious behavior.

David Christopher Adcock was riding a bike just before 1 a.m. Tuesday in the area of Church Hill Road and Eshman Avenue when an officer stopped to question him because he resembled one of two men suspected of stealing a 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer from a home on Clark Street in the area at about 1 a.m. Monday.

The truck has license plate CYP-276.

"He was tweaking and that got the officer's attention," Johnson said of Adcock, referring to a street term used sometimes to describe unusual twitching or motions made by people using meth.

The officer found the drugs and two pipes on him.

But he was not one of the men involved in the truck theft, which remains unsolved, Johnson said.

In that case, a man walked up to the truck and looked at it and rode off on his bike. Moments later, two came up on bikes, opened the unlocked doors and managed to crank the truck, which had an ignition problem.

"We've got some ideas, but we've looked all over town and haven't found the truck," Johnson said.

Anyone with information on the truck is asked to call West Point Police.