Neighbors frustrated by crimes

There have been multiple reports of home and car break-ins on Edwards Avenue within the past few months, although there’s little information about the perpetrators, according to Springfield police reports. Two of the crimes came on the property of Glen Swiger, who lives in the 1600 block.

“We were laying in bed and the backdoor was kicked in really hard. It just sounded like a big thud,” Swiger said. “I grabbed my pistol and ran out the door and actually (saw) somebody running out the back gate.”

Someone else broke into his truck, parked on the street, and stole tools and car parts — items Swiger said he’ll have to replace out of his own pocket since they are not covered by insurance.

Swiger said neighbors have told him they have had similar problems.

Fed up with what’s happening, residents have posted signs on the poles along the sidewalk, telling the vandals to stop and that they better hope “the police find you before I do.”

Some haven’t been fans of the messages, with most of the signs being torn down or ripped up within a few days.

To create their own “patrols,” residents have been staying up late doing a neighborhood watch. But even that has its dangers, said resident Jonathon Wallace.

“When you’re watching the people walk by, they threaten you and break your windows if you watch them too long,” he said. “I get threatened all the time for just watching them.”

Swiger said he hopes a stronger police presence coupled with what residents are doing will teach the thieves that they won’t be tolerated. But he’s also worried about things getting worse.

“It’s at the point where I don’t even feel safe anymore,” he said.

Anyone with information about the break-ins can contact Springfield police at (937) 324-7716.

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