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Southtowns Residents Demand Answer About Crime Spike

5:20 PM, Sep 19, 2012   |    comments
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SPRINGVILLE - Erie County law enforcement authorities say that the Southtowns, specifically the Springville area has been the target of an uptick of crime this year, compared to last year.

Police say car break-ins and burglaries have been rising and they don't know why. 

Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard hosted a town hall meeting Tuesday night so people who are concerned about the rise could listen and learn about how their community is being impacted. 

Ken Putnam, an East Concord resident, says he's traumatized as a result of the recent spike in crime in the mostly quiet town of Concord.

"It's horrifying. I think about it everyday; everyday I come home and you wonder you look behind the door to make sure nobody's there," he said.

The reason why is because Putnam is one of about 16 people in his community who were burglarized last month. Putnam, who's a family man, says he had 25 guns that he hunts with and has collected since he was a kid, stolen from his home. He claims he was cleaned out.

"I come home to find the valuables in the house were gone. Guns, guitars, TV, anything of value was taken. The safe was carried out of the door. It was disheartening to say the least," he said.

Putnam and about 50 other citizens of Concord and Springville are demanding answers from local and county authorities about what they're doing to keep them and their families safe. Police say criminals are getting away with electronics and cash from homes and businesses.

What is your department or what are the local departments doing to stop all this? 2 On Your Side's Jeff Preval asked Howard, who responded, "The visibility of patrol by using a crime map and finding the high crime areas. We can sometimes deter crime just by having a police officer sitting in that neighborhood watching."

The county adds that working with local departments is key to fighting the crime spike. Authorities say that some crimes like larceny are happening less frequently in Concord. But that Springville remains a huge problem.

Numbers show that of the 89 total incidents there this year, the summer months were the busiest for cops. And here's another startling fact, according to police, every church in Springville, about fifteen of them, have been burglarized.

Authorities say many of the crimes have happened right in Springville's downtown business district. They also say surrounding towns like Boston and Chaffee have also been victimized.

Howard notes that he's not sure who many of the thieves are selling to, however, he says that checking with some of the local pawn shops to find possible stolen property is something that authorities need to do more of.

















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