LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - With a rash of burglaries in the area, homeowners are increasing security at their homes and keeping their eyes open for suspicious activity in their neighborhoods.
The thief dubbed the 'Door-Kick Burglar' is still at large and continuing his crime spree across the city of Lufkin.
Ernest Rogers' back door was kicked in on Oleta Avenue a couple weeks ago and since then he has made some upgrades to his home security. Rogers said, "We have an alarm system. We have cameras."
He says he has lived on Oleta Avenue for 7 years and nothing like this has ever happened. In addition to installing a security system, Rogers posted several 'No Trespassing Signs', put in a motion sensing light and let's his dog roam loose in the backyard.
At least 4 homes on Oleta were burglarized the same night and Rogers says the police are patrolling more and making the residents feel safe. Nothing was taken from Rogers home but he says lots of valuables like irreplaceable family heirloom jewelry were stolen from his neighbors house.
Rogers said, "When it happened I really couldn't sleep you know and I was doing a lot of praying that it wouldn't happen again but since the police are patrolling and coming through it gives you a lot of more peace, you know that they're doing their job."
Despite their situation, the string of burglaries has brought the residents on Oleta together.
"You know the people that broke in you know we don't have no animosity. We forgive them, you know, and just times are hard but that's their jobs out there and I just hope and pray that they quit it."
The residents on Oleta have a neighborhood watch so they can watch out for each other and they're all leaving their exterior lights on overnight.
Authorities want to remind the public to call the police if you see something out of place in your neighborhood. The residents know their neighborhoods the best so even the smallest details could be the clue needed to identify a suspect(s).
Public Information Officer with Lufkin Police, J.B. Smith says, "Our job is to protect the citizens. Call us every time you see something out of place whether that's a suspicious person, a suspicious vehicles, your neighbor's home alarm going off. Don't assume someone else has called us. You call us.
J.B. says for a non-emergency call: 936-633-0356 but if you see something in progress or an emergency call 911. Smith also wants to remind citizens that if you want to remain anonymous you call the Crime Stoppers hotline at: 936-639-TIPS, or by submitting an anonymous tip at www.LufkinCrimeStoppers.com.
Crime Stoppers is completely anonymous and for information leading to an arrest in this case, Crime Stoppers may pay a cash reward of up to $2,000.