Wagoner County Deputies Increase Patrols To Deter Potential Burglars
WAGONER COUNTY, Oklahoma - More deputies are patrolling Wagoner County than ever before, with the hope that would-be thieves will think twice before stealing.
After taking office last summer, Wagoner County Sheriff Chris Elliot increased the size of the Sheriff's Department and has his new deputies out patrolling, making sure your property is safe.
A burglary that ended with three teen intruders dead caught the attention of most in Wagoner County.
Deputy Nick Mahoney said to prevent burglaries like that, having a good relationship with your neighbors is a good start.
"We'll come as fast as we can and as quick as we can, but we can't be everywhere at once," he said.
Mahoney said burglaries this year seem to be random.
"There's no real trend, it's a crime of opportunity, they take what they can carry," the deputy said.
Since Elliot took over last summer, five new deputies have been hired to combat the crime.
Mahoney said, "We have more people now working the patrol than the sheriff's office ever had in the past."
But, so far, in 2017 there have been 82 burglaries and nearly 200 calls to report potential burglaries.
"It appears that we tend to see more burglaries in the summertime and the warm weather time around the lake,” Mahoney said.
An area of focus and a place you might see the new deputies is around Fort Gibson Lake; as people go there to enjoy the water, criminals are targeting their property.
Mahoney said, "They see those lake houses and they see those expensive things that are starting to show up there, people leave them on the weekends and go home, unfortunately, they get burglarized and they get stolen from."
New data shows those opportunities come during the day, so if it's odd police want you to report it.
"If you see somebody out of place, especially around the lake, these are secluded neighborhoods, you really have to know how to get there," said Mahoney.
The sheriff has a minimum staffing of at least four deputies at all times, but there's usually twice that amount, especially as the weather gets warmer.