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Newport Independent - Newport, AR
  • NPD goes high tech to stop criminals

  • The Newport Police Department has taken advantage of a regional partnership to move their pursuit of local criminals high-tech.
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  • A self-described "rash of vehicle break-ins from July to September" in residential neighborhoods left Lt. Patrick Weatherford and the rest of the N.P.D. searching for answers.
    That is when a program funded mainly by the Department of Justice set the Newport Police Department and the Regional Organization Crime Information Center of Nashville, Tenn. in touch with each other.
    The rest is history, according to Weatherford.
    "Through R.O.C.I.C. we were able to borrow some very high tech equipment - pinhole cameras, transmitters, receivers, recorders - and install in a 'bait car,'" Lt. Weatherford explained.
    "We set up the first night at approximately 10:30 p.m. and within 90 minutes the vehicle had been broken into."
    Video surveillance cameras observed Bryan Herring, 23, of Diaz, enter the vehicle remove several items and exit the vehicle.
    He was apprehended almost instantaneously without incident.
    "At the time of Mr. Herring's arrest, he was in possession of items taken from another vehicle the same night, Sept. 17, in the Nancy Circle area."
    Lt. Weatherford continued, "As a result he was charged with two counts of Breaking or Entering and two counts of Theft of Property."
    Officers have employed the "bait car" at other locations since their original success, however, it is the only time it has been broken into.
    "I don't believe that Mr. Herring is the only person responsible for our vehicle break-ins, however, since that time, residential break-ins have been down considerably," he explained.
    While criminals are often undeterred in their actions, Lt. Weatherford offers some simple - and inexpensive - advice to citizens.
    "The majority of the vehicle break-ins we had this year, the doors were unlocked.  Please lock your doors," he noted.
    "Also, don't leave valuables in plain sight, in your vehicle.  Preferably, don't leave valuables in your cars at all."
    Another small piece of advice can help officers protect you and your valuables as well.
    "A porch light - or motion lights in your yards - are an inexpensive deterrent to criminals.  They want to go as unnoticed as possible.  They don't want to draw any kid of attention to themselves."
    Lt. Weatherford continued, "If you don't leave valuables in your vehicle, they don't have anything to steal.  If you lock your doors, even if there are valuables they can see, they often times don't want to risk breaking your window.  And, if there is any kind of light, they are more likely to keep going."
    "Now they also have to wonder if its their lucky day they found a car that's an easy mark or is it us waiting on them."The Newport Police Department has taken advantage of a regional partnership to move their pursuit of local criminals high-tech.
    Page 2 of 2 - A self-described "rash of vehicle break-ins from July to September" in residential neighborhoods left Lt. Patrick Weatherford and the rest of the N.P.D. searching for answers.
    That is when a program funded mainly by the Department of Justice set the Newport Police Department and the Regional Organization Crime Information Center of Nashville, Tenn. in touch with each other.
    The rest is history, according to Weatherford.
    "Through R.O.C.I.C. we were able to borrow some very high tech equipment - pinhole cameras, transmitters, receivers, recorders - and install in a 'bait car,'" Lt. Weatherford explained.
    "We set up the first night at approximately 10:30 p.m. and within 90 minutes the vehicle had been broken into."
    Video surveillance cameras observed Bryan Herring, 23, of Diaz, enter the vehicle remove several items and exit the vehicle.
    He was apprehended almost instantaneously without incident.
    "At the time of Mr. Herring's arrest, he was in possession of items taken from another vehicle the same night, Sept. 17, in the Nancy Circle area."
    Lt. Weatherford continued, "As a result he was charged with two counts of Breaking or Entering and two counts of Theft of Property."
    Officers have employed the "bait car" at other locations since their original success, however, it is the only time it has been broken into.
    "I don't believe that Mr. Herring is the only person responsible for our vehicle break-ins, however, since that time, residential break-ins have been down considerably," he explained.
    While criminals are often undeterred in their actions, Lt. Weatherford offers some simple - and inexpensive - advice to citizens.
    "The majority of the vehicle break-ins we had this year, the doors were unlocked.  Please lock your doors," he noted.
    "Also, don't leave valuables in plain sight, in your vehicle.  Preferably, don't leave valuables in your cars at all."
    Another small piece of advice can help officers protect you and your valuables as well.
    "A porch light - or motion lights in your yards - are an inexpensive deterrent to criminals.  They want to go as unnoticed as possible.  They don't want to draw any kid of attention to themselves."
    Lt. Weatherford continued, "If you don't leave valuables in your vehicle, they don't have anything to steal.  If you lock your doors, even if there are valuables they can see, they often times don't want to risk breaking your window.  And, if there is any kind of light, they are more likely to keep going."
    "Now they also have to wonder if its their lucky day they found a car that's an easy mark or is it us waiting on them."
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