Rural Nacogdoches Co. resident fears crime on rise

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - In the country are rolling hills. Quiet country roads. Quaint churches and downhome friendships til the day you die.

Yet Jill Wheeler, always a country girl, knows crime is all around her.

"There's been a rape, a serial arsonist and now our home has been broken into twice and no arrests have been made," Wheeler said.

The crimes happened close to Wheeler's Cushing-area home.

"The first time they actually threw this antique wagon wheel through our bedroom window," she said. "It scratched the floor and it actually landed in the closet. But, yeah, you can see, know, the damage that they did."

Not a year later, another break-in.

"They kicked in this back door and again a bad feeling to have," she said.

Each time an alarm system scared the thieves away. So much so they didn't notice what they left behind on a muddy day.

"My husband got on a 4-wheeler and followed the tracks," Wheeler said.

The led to a nearby house.

"It's even more discomforting to know that they people who may have done this lived nearby," Wheeler said.

The legitimate suspicion isn't enough for a search warrant, let alone an arrest.

"Law enforcement is often frustrated. You are pretty sure you know who the guilty party is, but you just don't have the elements of law met to be able to make that arrest.," Sheriff Thomas Kerss said.

Wheeler no longer jogs down a country road. She locks all doors and will upgrade the alarm system. And she encourages all rural residents to wise up. Crime can happen anywhere, anytime.

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