VANDALISM IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Has anything happened to you? Take a look at the list below of vandalism and concerns that have been reported to the Association mostly in the last two months.
|Brick mailbox pushed over||Destroyed Mailboxes pulled out of ground|
|Construction materials stolen||Mailbox defaced; tomatoes stolen and then throw against garage doors|
|Person left boat, entered yard & urinated||Fountain damaged, then stolen|
|New metal mailbox damaged, defaced.||Concrete pineapples destroyed|
|Wrought iron mailbox damaged||Watermelons smashed against house|
|Doorbell being rung at late hours (2:00am)||Flag broken off mailbox|
|Landscape lights damaged and destroyed||Several irrigation sprinklers pulled up and damaged|
|Metal letters pulled off brick wall, stolen||Stranger observed in carport|
|Fire hydrant opened; yard flooded||Six (6) street lights shot out by BB-gun|
|Four wheelers speeding on street||Automobiles, trucks & motorcycles speeding|
|Damage to gardens and crops||Canadian Goose shot with arrow|
All of which adds up in the thousands of ($$$) dollars not to mention fear and anxiety.
WHAT CAN WE ALL DO?
We are trying to make everyone aware of what’s been going on and attempt to centralize the information. Many of us have individually contacted the Police.
The Florence County Police have asked that we call them on everything. The number to call is their central dispatch number which is: 669-3911
Please make a report for every incident. They will send a patrol car to the neighborhood to investigate. You can request them NOT to stop at your house if you like.
If you have information on a crime you can call CRIME STOPPERS OF THE PEE DEE at (843)667-TIPS. Callers do not need to reveal their identity. The police would also like us to call another official to be sure he gets all the information about what’s going on in Forest Lake.
That person is: Captain Todd Tucker - Florence County Police - 665-2121 extension 386
Please leave him a message, giving your name, address and specific details. Captain Tucker has assured us that he is willing to talk to parents even if there is only a suspicion that their children are involved. It is believed that most of this is being done by minors at night
Captain Tucker has informed us that he has changed the police patrols presence in Forest Lake to the late evening hours, which is when a lot of this seems to be happening. A neighbor on Lakeshore Drive has actually had a vandal apprehended and has pressed charges. The vandalism has not stopped however.
Some of the vandalism is actually criminal in nature and needs to be dealt with as such. The police remind us that parents can be made to pay for any damages caused by their minor children. We recommend a ZERO TOLERANCE policy. The homeowner’s association recommends that we all consider prosecuting the individuals and we ask for everyone’s support. We have started a reward fund as well for those with information leading to the arrest and/or apprehension
If you have knowledge of who might be committing any of these acts you should share this with Captain Tucker. He would like to hear from you and is more than willing to explain what can be done. While the offenders may not be from our neighborhood, for the safety and well being of both your children and your property, please talk with your children about this vandalism. They may have seen or heard something, or even know someone who is involved. With the availability of CRIME STOPPERS OF THE PEE DEE no one has to fear being identified. It is very possible that your child has been placed under unwanted peer pressure to “join in” some of this inappropriate behavior. Being able to tell a bully that they can’t “join in” because their parents are keeping a close watch on them at home might even help to relieve some of the pressure and anxiety a child could be experiencing trying to say NO!
The point of this newsletter is that we should be reporting all the incidents to the Police and not trying to deal with them ourselves. The Police need to get a feel for the full extent of the vandalism. They can only do so much however; the rest is up to us. Forest Lake Homeowners Association has been working on getting a neighborhood watch program started for some time. We have made direct contact with a Police official and will be inviting them to an upcoming Board meeting. After our meeting we should be able to provide more specific information to you. In the meantime, we will be happy to talk with you. Please contact Mr. Thomas LeVine, President of the Forest Lake Homeowners’ Association at 230-7440.
FLHA Board of Directors and concerned homeowners