Spring is here and with it comes flowers, bees and outbuilding thieves and residents of Guyandotte, West Virginia are fed up with the latter.
Kathy Patterson said before somebody burned a hole in her Guyandotte back porch, a few people broke into her home through the front door.
“They got steak knives out of our kitchen and came all the way upstairs,” she said.
Danny Blevins, a fellow resident, said someone stole a stereo out of a neighbors car and one out of his truck.
“We’ve had 15 outhouses broken into, 14 lawn mowers stolen and 10 weed eaters stolen,” said Rick Simmons, Huntington City Councilman. “[That’s] just within a week.”
Guyandotte’s representative said the crime spree hit him personally. He won’t show his dog, Snickers out of fear.
“They stole my dog,” he said. “[They] got on the porch, unleashed my dog and kicked it.”
One of the councilman’s Facebook friends spotted Snickers away from Guyandotte, recognizing the stolen injured pet chasing ducks at Harris Riverfront Park.
Simmons, and others, worry this outbuilding crime spree may spark vigilantism.
“People will protect their stuff,” said resident Danny Blevins. “If I caught somebody, I would not like it.”
Bobby Morris, of Huntington, said the police are focused on the 20th street area and the west end, and not so much focused on Guyandotte.
“Somebody is going to get hurt or killed,” Simmons said.
The councilman has called for a crime stoppers town hall meeting at the Guyandotte VFW.
“We don’t want people getting their shotguns and meeting at the flood wall,” he said. “That’s been Guyandotte’s way of doing things for a long time.”
Simmons said he wants to cut crime here, not by retaliation, but positively, with a united police and community effort.