BOWIE COUNTY, Texas (KSLA) - Jeff Hart, of Texarkana, was a victim of package theft; but thanks to security cameras and an active Neighborhood Watch group, the alleged thieves were captured.
Just hours after police were contacted by Jeff and others in his Neighborhood Watch group, police spotted the vehicle.
Following a high-speed chase, officers arrested Damien Crooks, 40, and Joy Lantrip, 34. Both were charged with felony fleeing and theft by receiving. Police say during the pursuit the two were throwing packages from the vehicle.
Sgt. Rick Cockrell said on Tuesday, Dec. 8, police received numerous calls of packages being stolen across the city. He says such thefts are a major problem during this time of the year.
“It’s an ongoing issue especially during the holidays because we ramp up purchases online and everything is going digital so this is going to be an ongoing issue,” said Cockrell.
He also says one way to help police fight this problem is becoming part of a Neighborhood Watch group like the one that helped Hart.
Hart says groups like this share information with each other about any suspicious activity in the neighborhood and that most of the neighbors have camera systems installed on their homes.
However, police say just because an arrest has been made in this case, it is no time for the community relax.
“We can take one package theft suspect off the street but there will always be someone else to fill their spot,” warned Cockrell.
Cockrell said other things residents can do to prevent package theft is to set up delivery alerts with the mail carrier, have neighbors collect packages while you are away or have the package delivered to your work place.