WILLARDS, Md. - Police say there have been seven forced entry burglaries east of the Route 13 bypass in Wicomico County in the past two months. The Willards, Pittsville and Parsonsburg area seems to be the target.
For some, the increase in crime in such a small community comes as a bit of a surprise.
"We've never really had a major problem with crime around here, which is a good thing," said Tim Gordy of Willards.
Investigators with the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office said the most recent break-in occurred during the New Year's holiday with the criminal breaking a window with a hammer to gain entry into the home. Now the Sheriff's Office has begun to step up patrols. Uniformed and plain clothed officers, as well as marked and unmarked cars, will be circling the area more often. But the Sheriff's Office is also relying on the community to keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.
"I know around here some of the neighbors were out, they were all leaving their lights on outside. They are all looking out. If someone funny is knocking on their door, they make sure to tell them and check them out," said Jamie Lewis, a business owner in Willards.
"That is a big advantage for us because the folks that live in the community know their own communities. They know who is supposed to be there. They know the comings and goings a lot better than we do so all we can do is ask to give us a call," said Lt. Tim Robinson of the Sheriff's Office.
With increased patrols and local vigilance, the hope is to find these burglars as quickly as possible.
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