The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The eyes have it!

by db Conard, The Quill

Hard times can't help but drive some people to do things they thought they would never do. Or perhaps it is bored times with our people lacking alternatives to what they think of as mischief.

Our communities are in jeopardy of losing one of our greatest treasures here in the heart land, and that is that sense of security that in the past was just "a given" as a natural part of small town living.

Churches being robbed by thieves is worse than a nasty pile of stink that we all have to smell. Just knowing that someone is stooping so low as to violate houses of worship, has to make everyone concerned.

To say that there are cars being burglarized is an understatement. There have been no fewer than 14 different families whose time and property have been stolen by thieves breaking into their cars.

Each and every incident costing so much more than just a stereo. Insurance claims, agents, police reports, investigations, area crime ratings affecting everyone's insurance premiums, court costs, jail, prisons, attorneys Sheriff Mark Lumbeck says, "Please help by at least locking your car. No reason to make it easy on them."

Homes, shops and sheds are storehouses for plunder for thieves, Property paid for by hard earned dollars being stolen and sold for pennies.....such a waste.

Anger and frustration was evident from a friend who had only recently been robbed. He and his wife work very hard for what they have and they both resent the thoughtless disregard for what was literally stolen from their children. They both have enough to occupy their time without having to waste it dealing with thieves. But, that is what they did, spent hours away from crops and home working with the police and eventually catching the thieves and recovering property, with the only plus for the community being two delinquents caught and now facing their crime.

Two teenagers are marked for life with a record, all for the price of a radio, or some wire, or a computer or a gun. Nothing worth the price.

Most of the people who are doing the thieving aren't the ones reading the paper. If someone is breaking into cars it is pretty obvious that they are not working with their lights on bright. And odds are, that they are not the informed type, otherwise they wouldn't be doing what they are doing!

The readers I hope to reach are those who are informed and are capable of making a difference.

Monday morning I met with Henderson County Sheriff Mark Lumbeck. He talked about the recent rash of crimes, and that hard economic times can not help but increase crime rates in any community. However, the Sheriff felt that he had a good handle on a number of crimes and was making progress on the rest.

Talking about the four break-ins at the Hopson's in Raritan the Sheriff said that they were waiting on evidence at the state lab. Mark also expressed frustration with the priority for lab time having to go to murder cases before break-in evidence, but also understanding the economics involved.

The Church crimes in Lomax had good leads, the Randall's Performance car break-ins had been solved with the arrests of four.

The Sheriff also talked about his confidence in Gary Smith as the new Stronghurst Chief of Police. Mark explained that his department would continue to be very involved with the Stronghurst community and expected that Gary was ready for business after dealing with all the basics of getting a local law enforcement office established.

The Sheriff feels that the drug enforcement efforts for the county have better than average resources in that in Henderson County there is a state police meth specialty officer with his own office in the Sheriff's complex, bringing unique assets to the counties drug enforcement program.

Recognizing that there has to be new initiatives to protect the community, the Sheriff discussed an increased need for community involvement.

There're thousands of eyes and ears that know what is happening in their neighborhood. Now, the Sheriff says, with an increased emphasis, when there is a crime, their office will (when ever it does not threaten procedure and law,) notify this Newspaper so that we can alert the community that there was a crime, providing as much of the what, where, and when, so that neighbors can help law enforcement come up with the who.

The Sheriff said when anyone knows something that helps to solve a crime the reward fund of Crime Stoppers says thank you with dollars. This way law enforcement's job is enhanced, the community improved. It's win, win, win!


Hello Sheriffs, office, I just wanted to call because I saw someone over behind my neighbors shed that looked suspicious.

Hello Sheriffs office this may not mean anything but then again it might!

Hello Sheriffs office there is a car all over the road.

A friend who had his work shed broken into, commented that he wished he had built his building further from town, where there would be fewer people to mess with his property.

My thought was what would it take to change that attitude to one that would want things in town where there would be more neighbors to watch over it.

It has to be a team effort to make our community one with a reputation where it isn't worthwhile to commit a crime because of the great way that the media, law enforcement, and citizens work together.

This is about preserving the quality of life seldom found outside of country living, and small town USA.

It's the unique way that neighbors can make such a significant difference in everyone's quality of life by working together and not tolerating the theft of our sense of security for our homes and property. MAKE THE CALL


Hello Sheriff's Office!

I know something about that story in the paper.