A look at interstate crime

By Ben Wolf - email | bio

WASKOM, TX (KSLA) - A few burglars preyed on an Ark-La-Tex interstate town the past few weeks.  Waskom, Texas police arrested three teenagers in connection with the crimes.  They say two of them broke into eight different businesses or vehicles.

Waskom's police chief says I-20 is a "fast get-a-way" for crooks.

"They'll jump off and steal gas or try to steal something to make a quick buck," said Waskom Police Chief Rex Hawsey.

Hawsey describes battling the bad guys along I-20.

"With I-20 as busy as it is, it's hard to get out there and notice anything or maybe even locate the right vehicle," he said.

Hawsey and his force arrested these two men - 19-year-old Adrian Cherry and 17-year-old Justin Brown in connection with eight burglaries in the past two weeks.

Despite the fact the accused criminals live in Waskom, the sudden crime spree prompted us to look into safety for businesses and homes along the interstate.

Jason Rodgers manages a catfish restaurant just outside the city -- one of the locations police say the burglars targeted.

Rodgers says travelers give the location good business, but it comes with a price.

"But you have to weigh those pros and cons, but it certainly is more of a concern on these busy roads," he said.

Chief Hawsey says when someone commits a crime close to the interstate; his agency tries to stay one step ahead of the criminal when they're on the run.

"If we have a suspect's information or a suspect's vehicle information we'll call ahead to local agencies and we'll do a regional broadcast and hit the whole region," said Hawsey.

Hawsey beefs up patrols based on crime patterns in his city of 2,000 people and claimed to be pretty successful at catching criminals.

After all, his officers say they have enough evidence to ensure these alleged crooks won't make a clean get-a-way for a long time.

The crime spree included eight total burglaries.

That's half of the burglaries Waskom usually falls victim to in one year.