Crime assaults Walnut Hill
Isolation works to benefit of culprits
By Connie Nowlin
A string of thefts in Walnut Hill is being treated as an ongoing investigation.
Greg Pearson, spokesman for the Escambia County Sheriff's office classified the incidents as crimes against property.
"These crimes are very serious in nature," Pearson said, although he added that none of the incidents were crimes against a person.
Pearson said that since the situation is part of an ongoing investigation, no specifics are being released.
One of the victims of the thefts is Bo Bartley, who lives off Escambia County Road 97-A. His home was broken in to in mid-June during the middle of the day.
No one was home, but they had been gone for less than an hour. His wife's handbag, cell phone and some jewelry were taken after the basement door was kicked in.
Bartley believes the isolated nature of farms works to the advantage of the thieves.
"My closest neighbor is a quarter mile or more away. They are able to get in and get out without being noticed," Bartley said.
He also said that there seem to be increased patrols in the area since the thefts have begun.
Pearson backed up that theory.
"We are patrolling more frequently in the area," he said.
Pearson also said that there are several things that residents can do, even in isolated areas, to help keep from falling victim to crime.
He suggested that storage areas be well-lighted and fenced in if possible. Residents should be aware of their possessions and report anything missing, out of place, or any unusual people or activity in the area. Pearson also suggested that residents lock up buildings and equipment.