News 12 First at Five / Friday, June 14, 2013
NEW ELLENTON, S.C. (WRDW) -- David Dunbar doesn't feel safe in his New Ellenton home. When he goes to the store, he fears leaving his wife home alone.
In fact, just the other day, he found himself in a pretty scary situation with an aggressive trespasser who may have been armed.
"He started coming back this way, and when he did, he had his hand in his back pocket," he said. "I told my wife to go ahead and call law enforcement because I saw it was getting out of hand."
Dunbar isn't alone. Many of his neighbors are on high alert, too. He tells us many of them have fallen victim to a rash of break-ins.
"I'd say it's been at least about six or seven that I know of from myself that I can put and handle on and say I know exactly where that place is. I'd say at least about six or seven, maybe even eight," Dunbar said.
But with all the break-ins, no one has been arrested. News 12 is told the New Ellenton Police Department doesn't even have any good leads.
"The police could do a little more. I'm going to put it that way," Dunbar said. "They could do a little more to step up their game. I know a lot of things that are going on each and every day."
That criticism means a lot, since Dunbar also serves on the New Ellenton City Council.
"We have a lot of people who are just walking around in the area. Most of the younger fellows are not giving any regards to anyone or anything," he said.
Down the road on Sizemore Avenue, Annetta Mills has seen that, too.
"The juveniles here are not like the ones I deal with in Richmond County," she said. "They're slick out here. They walk the streets after curfew. This should not be!"
Mills' nonprofit Save Our Students fights juvenile violence in Richmond County. She says she's tried to bring it over here, but so far, she's had no luck at convincing New Ellenton city leaders.
Dunbar says he just hopes things get better before they get worse.
"People know when you're home. They know when you're not home," said Dunbar, who has now turned his home into an arsenal of cameras and no trespassing signs. "But they don't care who you are these days. They just care about what they can do for themselves."
New Ellenton Police Chief Alesia Parks says there have only been about eight break-ins that she can find since April. However, she confirms that the department currently has no arrests or even leads. She says one group of people is responsible for most of the break-ins, however, she's positive that some in the community have tips that would lead to arrests.
If you have any information or tips that could lead to an arrest, Chief Parks asks you to contact her directly at (803) 443-4831.