By Debra Minor Wilson
Times West Virginian
“We need help.”
A delegation of concerned citizens told this to the Marion County Commission at its quarterly Wednesday night meeting for help with the string of home burglaries taking place around the city and county.
They offered some suggestions, such as forming community watch groups and pooling law-enforcement agencies.
The group had not gone to Fairmont City Council because many of the burglaries are taking place outside city limits and because the commission is the governing body of the county.
Plus they suggested pooling law-enforcement agencies, with city, county and state working together.
Commission President Randy Elliott advised them to organize their goals. He also suggested attending the next Mayors on the Move meeting to share their concerns.
“We can follow up after the holiday and see if it’s slowed down any. But keep an eye on it.”
He praised the hard work and professionalism of Marion’s law-enforcement agencies.
“These people are very concerned about the burglaries going on in the day time,” Elliott said after the meeting.
“We hope to talk to get more presence of police in the areas, to let these burglars know someone is in the area.
“Our hope is they catch some more of these people. If there is the presence of police in the areas and they see that, I’m sure they’ll stop.”
Hard-hit areas include Watson, Farms Drive and the area near Fairmont Senior High School.
Elliott reiterated what police have been telling people.
“Be more vigilant. Form a community watch.”
According to Fairmont Police, the break-ins are taking place between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. mostly at residences without visible security systems. Small, high-value items are being taken.
Residents are advised to be on the lookout for unfamiliar people or vehicles in their neighborhoods or for people carrying backpacks or duffel bags, where they could conceal stolen items.
Kris Cinalli, county administrator, said he will contact Marion County Sheriff Joe Carpenter today about coordinating agencies to “try to solve the case.”
“We can focus on one area where the concentration of the burglaries seem to be taking place.
“There can be quite a few areas in the county that can benefit from this.”
The commission will meet in regular session at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18, in Room 403, J. Harper Meredith Building, Fairmont.
Email Debra Minor Wilson at email@example.com.