by Emily Waldrep
Burglary, trespassing and theft rates in Tyler County have risen over the past month, and are expected to continue rising throughout the Labor Day holiday. In the past week, approximately seven arrests in Tyler County have been made as a result of criminal trespass and burglary of a habitation.
The spike in these charges usually happens around Labor Day weekend, and Clint Sturrock of the Tyler County Sheriff's department says that residents coming back to their deer camps has a lot to do with the larger than normal number of burglaries, trespassing and theft.
"An increased number of people come into Tyler County for Labor Day weekend and cause an increase in burglaries every year," says Sturrock. "Add in the people who are coming back to Tyler County to set up deer camps and explore the woods for hunting spots, and that can equal a large amount of trespassing and theft related arrest."
From August 13 through August 20, the Sheriff's Department, along with the Woodville police, made seven theft and trespassing arrests.
Elie John Fruge III, age 43, of Colmesneil, Elie John Fruge, Jr., age 64, of Colmesneil, and Jessica Elaine Williams, age 28, of Woodville were all arrested and charged with Criminal Trespass. Jacob Robert Jones, age 22 of Warren, James Thomas Reynolds, age 24, of Woodville, Charles Robert Riley, age 44, of Bronson, and Virginia Riley, age 28, of Bronson were all arrested and charged with Burglary of a Habitation.
Since 2005, the rate for solving theft and burglary have been low, but have been rising due to the community actively reporting stolen items. Most residents don't know that every single stolen item, no matter how insignificant, should be reported to the police so that the thief can be caught and charged. The more tips that police have, the more likely the burglar will be caught.
Residents should keep in mind that deer camps are a hot spot for criminal activity, and should always keep their things hidden and locked up whenever they are not being used or supervised. Padlocks and security systems are also a good way to keep thieves at bay. Some residents even take special care to remove valuables from uninhabited deer camps or property during Labor Day weekend, when crime rates skyrocket.