Many business owners in Trumann have had to face to devastation of thieves lately. Trumann Police Chief Chad Henson held a Crime Prevention Forum at the Old Community House recently to discuss what the department can do for them in the situation, as well as, how business owners can prevent the thief from ever breaking and entering.
Henson told the business owners that the minimum was to lock all doors. "It's important that they empty their cash register and leave it open," said the chief. By leaving the register open, thieves are able to see that there is no cash to steal. Henson warned the business owners to leave lights on inside of the building, as well as, in the parking lot.
Many of the business owners present had been victimized multiple times. Since 2010, five Trumann businesses have been robbed three to five times.
"There has been a rash of revictimization over and over again within the town," said Henson. "Law enforcement is doing their part. We acknowledge that it is not enough, but we need businesses to help us help them."
Henson said there are two questions that owners should ask themselves: "Do you want to prevent the crime?" or "Do you want to solve the crime?"
"If you are looking to prevent a crime, you have advantages over looking to solve the crime," said Henson.
Some advantages mentioned by Henson include not having to face the feeling of being a victim and lower costs. "Victims have a hollow and lonely feeling when they are missing their possessions," said Henson.
According to Henson, costs are lower for prevention rather than solving. To prevent crime, an audible alarm system could be purchased with a little money up front. When solving a crime, expensive cameras are bought along with the expense of time.
"People have the mentality that it will never happen," said the chief. "They do not realize it's a matter of 'if' not 'when'."
Henson has noticed a pattern of narcotics, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and the abuse of prescription drugs involved in the robberies. While the use of cocaine, meth, and marijuana have declined, Henson said the abuse of prescription drugs has sky rocketed.
"The vast majority are hooked on OxyContin, which goes for about $80 a pill," said Henson. "If a thief breaks into a pharmacy and steals a thousand pills, it affects not only Trumann but all of the surrounding area.'
He stressed the importance of pharmacies following the proper procedures to prevent crime involving their business.
According to the chief, the Trumann Police Department has a very good solvability rate, but they need the help of local business owners by following the proper prevention procedures. Anyone with information is encouraged to notify the Trumann Police Department at 483-6423 or email tips anonymously to firstname.lastname@example.org.