Crime Stoppers discuss vandalism cases

Friday, August 26, 2011

Vandalism seems to be the crime of the season, as reported by various agencies at the August meeting of Barry-Lawrence Crime Stoppers.

Monett police officinals were called to the scene of Monett's North Park to investigate vandalism at the batting cage facility on Thursday morning.

Two windows in the building were broken and the cash register thrown from the counter to the floor. The register was open, but officials reported that all monies had been removed from the unit following the previous evening's activities.

Total estimated damage to the structure was $500.

This marks the third time that vandals have struck at North Park this summer. Previous break-ins were at the park's concession stand, where a significant amount of candy was taken.

Barry-Lawrence Crime Stoppers board members also heard of a significant amount of graffiti along Fourth and Benton Streets and Main Street south of Broadway.

In Purdy, Police Chief Jackie Lowe said that vandals had damaged the outdoor bulletin board at Purdy High School. The door had been pried loose from the face of the bulletin board but no access gained. Estimated cost of damage to the board is $500.

Monett's School Resource Officer Jerrod Jarvis advised board members and citizens to utilize cell phone technology in capturing photos of perpetrators in the act of committing crimes.

"They say a picture is worth a thousand words," Jarvis said. "And a defense lawyer would be hard pressed to deny his client did the act if there is photo evidence."

A total of three tips were called into the Barry-Lawrence Crime Stoppers tip line for the month of July. Two of the tips were drug-related and turned over to the Southwest Missouri Drug Task Force. The other tip was in reference to Bertie Lee Sewell, an alleged sex offender who has failed to register in the state of Missouri. Sewell reportedly spends time in both Springfield and Aurora.

Law enforcement officials also warned of scammers using food delivery service vans to gain entry into people's homes.

Lowe said that an individual using a Bon Appétit van approached a home near Purdy and managed to get inside the individual's residence and steal prescription medications.

Lowe also noted that at least two women known to law enforcement officials in the Monett, Pierce City and Purdy areas were accessing people's homes by requesting the use of jumper cables or requesting a glass of water and then stealing wallets while the homeowners are distracted.

The next meeting of the Barry-Lawrence County Chapter of Crime Stoppers will be at noon on Thursday, Sept. 15 at the Bayou, located on Highway 60 in Monett.

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