SYLACAUGA, Ala. – The sound of gun shots rang out on the south side of Sylacauga late Tuesday night around 11:00 sending a shock wave of panic through a neighborhood.
According to Sylacauga Police Chief Kelley Johnson, shots were fired near the Piggly Wiggly and Big Lots on Hwy. 280 on Lloyd Rd. after 37-year-old Kenneth Johnston caught two black males either inside two of his vehicles or attempting to get inside two vehicles in his yard. Johnson explained the police report stated Johnston arrived home with the two men in his yard and they fled the scene.
This is when the simple and somewhat minuscule crime of Breaking and Entering a Vehicle, in comparison to what could have happened, escalated to something much bigger. As the two men fled on foot towards Coaling Rd, Johnson described, they pulled out a pistol and began firing aimlessly through the air.
Both SPD and the Talladega County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the scene. No one was injured in the shooting, but bullets did strike a vehicle and a home. The drama behind the Fort William Shopping Center.
Later in the night, Johnson said a man was on his porch smoking a cigarette on Walnut St. when he saw two men walking through his yard. The man commanded they get off his property and gun shots rang out again.
Police are currently working to find the two suspects, but identifying the perpetrators of these “opportunity” crimes will be very difficult. Chief Johnson spoke on what people need to do when they find themselves in Johnston’s shoes. He said always remain at a safe distance from the criminals, but try to find as much detail as possible.
Car break-ins are no new issue in Sylacauga. These “crimes of opportunity” happen often. While Johnson said he cannot control or even prevent a break-in, there are some steps citizens can take to discourage a burglar from stealing items from their car. The first preventive measure, obviously, is to not leave valuable items in a vehicle. Johnson said most of these criminals will look through the windows and examine what is in the vehicle, weighing the risks and rewards, before deciding to enter a vehicle.
The second preventive measure may be even more obvious. Johnson said simply locking your doors will prevent citizens from falling victims to these petty crimes. Johnson said he cannot remember the last time a window was broken for one of these petty crimes. “Almost every report will say the vehicle is unlocked, and you will not believe what people will leave in their vehicles while it is unlocked,” he said.
Police records show that between 11:00 Tuesday night and 8:00 Wednesday morning there were six reports of Breaking and Entering a Vehicle in Sylacauga.
Jeremy Law for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.