A rash of burglaries and home robberies in Holmes County has law enforcement stepping up their efforts to fight this growing problem.
“It is not a good feeling,” resident Johnny Pritchard said.
Pritchard admits it's still difficult to talk about the day a thief broke into his Durant home a few weeks ago.
“Soon as I entered the house I realized the TV was not on, and I am like 'I know I left the TV on'. And at that time, I saw a light go off at corner of my eye and the door started closing at that time I knew someone was in here,” Pritchard recalled.
Pritchard called 911 and the suspect was later arrested, but his friend and neighbor hasn't had the same luck.
She says the armed robbers that entered her home and stole cash and jewelry on still on the loose.
“He had the gun pointed at my head and he was counting down '5,4,3'. My husband was on the floor and the guy who had me, ran in and knocked him in the head and he had to have stitches and he is 80-years-old,” said Nancy Irby.
Over in the unincorporated area of Holmes County, Sheriff Willie March says there have been more than ten burglaries and robberies in the past two months.
He says one involved a 90-year-old woman.
“Most of the houses they are hitting, they are getting guns out of house," said Sheriff March. "Some are getting flat screen TV's, but most of them they are taking guns.”
March says while his team has made some arrests, it has not been easy.
“It is very frustrating to have the community and law enforcement and every time we think we are ahead of them, but are still a step behind,” said March.
The sheriff says the department is also stepping up patrol and encourages folks who see something strange in their community to say something.
“Find them in a hurry so nobody else in town will have to go through what we went through,” said Irby.
Durant Police Chief John Haynes says his team is also stepping up patrols and working with citizens to start neighborhood watch groups.
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