The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 28, 2012

A town effort is needed to thwart burglars

The Tribune-Democrat

— Residents and business owners in and around South Fork Borough are feeling uneasy these days.

No wonder.

The borough and at least one bordering municipality have joined a growing list of communities whose inhabitants’ privacy has been violated by burglars.

In many instances this past spring and summer where rashes of break-ins occurred, arrests were made, with entries mostly tied to a small number of individuals working together.

We expect that will

be the case when arrests are made in the latest cases.

In nearly all, burglars were looking for cash or items such as jewelry, TVs and other electronics that easily could be converted into money.

In two stories recently penned by our Randy Griffith, authorities said cash, prescription drugs and jewelry were taken in burglaries over the past few weeks, with the latest over the weekend.

Hit were a church, businesses, homes, clubs and garages. The South Fork News Stand, in the heart of the borough, was targeted twice.

About $1,000 in “Christmas money” was stolen from an upstairs apartment last Wednesday evening while the news stand owners, Ray and Nicolette Edwards, and their family were downstairs celebrating Thanksgiving in their business.

“I had my Thanksgiving dinner downstairs,” Mrs. Edwards told Griffith.

“They took advantage of that and broke in upstairs. They must have seen us downstairs.”

Mrs. Edwards said there was a break-in attempt last month at their business.

The American Legion post home and VFW also have been targeted, as was  a home about two miles outside the borough in Adams Township, although it was not known whether that entry was tied to the borough’s.

“People have to know this is happening. People in this town have to lock up everything,” Mrs. Edwards said.

We agree.

Borough police and the state police are investigating.

We always have urged law-enforcement officers to alert news media about break-ins, especially when they have happened in bunches and in related manners.

We also continually encourage residents and business owners to ask investigators to alert their neighbors through the media.

People need to be aware to keep doors and windows closed and locked, even during the day when they are at home. They need to be on the lookout for suspicious people and incidents and report these to their police departments.

At the end of the day, it’s everyone’s job to help arrest these intruders, many of whom are searching for money to finance drug habits.

“This isn’t about our police department,” one concerned businessman told us. “This is on us as a community to help our neighbors out and be on the lookout for each other.”

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.