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Victorian Hills residents organize neighborhood Crime Watch

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By Travis Jenkins

Chester County Sheriff Richard Smith and a half-dozen of his staff met with Victorian Hills residents Tuesday to help organize a neighborhood crime watch group.
More than 25 concerned members of the community attended the 6 p.m. meeting at the Lewisville Community Library. The sheriff stated the sole purpose for this important gathering.
“Our goal here tonight is to prevent crime and help y'all from being victims,” Smith said.
Maj. Calvin Reynolds addressed the crowd and explained why the crime watch program is important to him.
“I know how it feels,” Reynolds said. “It ain't fun being a victim.”
Other county officers also shared tips with the residents to help prevent crimes at their homes.
*Put locks on doors, windows and hinges
*Maintain serial numbers from weapons and keep these where you have quick access to them
*Use sound and motion sensors around your home
*Use timer lights when planning to be away from home overnight
*Don't say, “Sorry, I/We're not at home right now” on answering machines
*Be careful not to share too much information on Facebook and other social networks about when and how long you'll be on vacation or away from home on business, etc.
A Victorian Hills resident suggested using a cell phone to take a picture of any suspicious person lurking in the neighborhood. Another asked if it was proper to call county officials if they saw an unknown or  suspicious person on someone's property.
911 Director Ginny Sloan said, “Yes.”
“If you see anything suspicious, dial 911,” Sloan said. “We consider that an emergency.”
Sloan said sometimes when things are checked out by the police, they are suspicious and at other times things are not always what they appear to be. But err on the side of caution and always call, she said.
“That's what we're here for,” Sloan said. “Don't hesitate to call.”
Sheriff Smith encouraged the residents to not let anything deter them from calling if something concerns them.
“Crime prevention is like a game,” Maj. Reynolds added.
Criminals watch your actions and notice how you do things and when you do them, so play a game with them, he said.
“Change your routine – don't do the same things everyday,” Reynolds said.
The sheriff said it's of vital importance for neighbors to help neighbors to prevent and report crimes.
“The police can't be everywhere,” Smith said. “We need people to tell what they see.”