Rise in crime has Paris residents concerned, ‘Something needs to be done’

Local News

PARIS, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — From stolen packages, to businesses being vandalized and homes broken into, multiple burglaries have some worried in Paris, Illinois.

Police Chief, Terry Rogers, said the crimes are connected to multiple groups with ages ranging from juveniles to adults.

Hit by a series of crimes, residents are wondering what happened to a city commonly described as “quiet.”

“I’ve lived here all of my life. It’s a nice place, I have family here. It’s sad to see what the city became,” Scott Creech, a local resident said.

At around 1 a.m. Creech’s store, The Paris Resale Shop was burglarized. Thieves left behind shattered glass and ran away with money and a gaming system.

“Really didn’t ransack the place, I’m surprised,” he said. “They were pretty much in and out. I got lucky, unfortunately, others haven’t been. Something needs to be done.”

Blocks away on West Wood Street, an attempted break-in failed on Callie Baber’s Auction House.

“The deterrent were the alarms,” she said. “I was in Washington D.C. when it happened and got a call from my security provider.”

Baber, also a criminologist, said one of her concerns is vigilante justice as a result of crime continuing.

“My fear is that there are good honest citizens who are tired of it and something bad is going to happen,” she said. “It’s going to take it coming head to head for something to happen. I like being proactive, I think we can address it. We can not be fearful in our community and take back our communities.”

Outside of her store Wednesday afternoon, dozens of residents gathered, all have been impacted by the series of crimes. They’re seeking accountability, crime prevention and stronger punishment for those caught.

“It does scare a lot of us, it could get worse. Somebody is going to get hurt,” Creech said. “I don’t think these kids or adults realize what they’re doing. Someone will get shot.”

In a statement, Chief Rogers said:

“Arrests have been made. The crimes are not just tied to one group, that’s one of the difficulties. The department is doing everything they can, but we are short staffed by a minimum of five officers. Currently, officers are working overtime while being pulled to cover multiple tasks. Reports have been submitted requesting charges and D.N.A. samples are being processed. “

Citizens, like Doug Cochran, want to control things before they get worse.

Cochran, also running for Edgar County Sheriff, is proposing implementing a city and county-wide neighborhood watch program to increase awareness.

“Stop this before it gets out of hand; before someone gets hurt,” he said. “That’s the main thing. Property damage is one thing, but a person’s life is another. We need to stop this before we get to that point.”

He added he is awaiting further detail before a more comprehensive plan is released.

If you encounter a crime, you’re asked to call the Paris Police Department at 217-465-6351.

On Thursday afternoon, the United States Postal Service sent MyWabashValley.com the following statement.

Early Monday, a shipment of packages was left unattended on the dock of the Paris, IL Post Office. This occurred several hours before the office was open or staffed to accept drop shipments; therefore, the Postal Service has no information about the contents of the shipment. When employees arrived, many of the packages had been rifled and items stolen. Customers who may have been affected by this unfortunate incident should contact Amazon for further information and assistance.

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