Tight-knit Forest Acres community seeks answers in wake of recent crimes

Published: Jan. 22, 2014 at 4:17 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 1, 2014 at 4:17 AM EST
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FOREST ACRES, SC (WIS) - Forest Acres police continue to search for two suspects in a violent home invasion that ended with one of the suspects shot and killed.

It happened on Lindbrook Drive Monday night when police say the trio forced their way in, and pistol-whipped one of the residents as they demanded cash.

Another person in the home pulled a gun, killing one of the intruders.

There have been at least four armed robberies in the Forest Acres community this year.

Residents gathered Tuesday at the Forest Acres Neighborhood Association meeting to express concerns and get more information from Police Chief Gene Sealy.

"This is our community," said Sealy. "We can teach some things to help protect it, but unfortunately things happen."

So far, a lot has happened the tight-knit community in 2014  -- at least four armed robberies -- the most significant being Monday night's home invasion and over the weekend, a brazen, broad-daylight robbery at a CVS.

The violence meant a big and curious crowd at Tuesday night's meeting. For Martha Garvin, the meeting was a first.

"Just with everything going on lately, I thought it would be interesting to come and see what the association could tell us," said Garvin

Sealy cautioned the crowd to be wary of knocks on the door late at night and not to hesitate to call police if they think something's wrong.

Eron Swann showed up, and signed up. She wants to be in the know.

"What do I need to be looking for when I'm out in the community on a day-to-day basis, that looks suspicious instead of me just being paranoid," said Swann.

Association President Frank Dropla encouraged folks to join watch groups, spend less time afraid, and more time getting to know their neighbors.

"We tell people here at our meetings through out neighborhood watch, if you see something out of the ordinary, call," said Dropla.

So far, 2014 as a whole seems out of the ordinary for this community. Sealy hopes it's not a sign of things to come.

"I'm hoping that this is just an anomaly, and things will settle down for us so we can get back to normal," said Sealy.

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