Police, community partner to combat burglary spree

Former FBI agent Ed Keller and BPD Chief Jimmy  Singletary

Aside from multi-agency police department collaboration and good old-fashioned police work, Beaumont Police Department Chief Jimmy Singletary said it will take citizen involvement to combat the rash of “smash-and-grabs” and home burglaries occurring in the city.

At BPD on Tuesday, April 12, one citizen was heralded for his assistance in solving a crime that led to the arrest of actors fitting the MO for a group of criminals targeting local homes which cleared multiple burglary cases and recovered thousands of dollars worth of valuables including guns and jewelry.

According to Singletary, former FBI agent Ed Keller did just what he hopes other concerned citizens will do – pick up a phone and call the police.

“(Keller) was able to find out some things, gave us a lot of good information, and we were able to track that down,” Singletary said, adding that none of the information available to the tipster would have been worth much if he did not call and forward that information to the police.

“We want a bunch of nosy neighbors,” he said. Currently, there are 15 neighborhood associations in Beaumont – Singletary said he would like to see more.

“As silly as it sounds, whatever it is, if it seems suspicious, call us. Give us a chance to solve it.”

Keller said he was just doing what any other concerned citizen in his position would do.

“Essentially, I found out some information including the suspect’s name, the tag number of the vehicle, things like that,” he said. “I was in constant contact with the chief and the burglary unit. I passed along what I had – and they followed up on it.”

Above all, Keller said it was imperative to let the police do their job.

Singletary agreed, especially since at least one suspect shot at an officer attempting to make a traffic stop.

“These guys are serious stuff,” he said. “We don’t need any citizen to try to confront them themselves. Just call us, and we will do the work.

“We want you to help us, but we don’t want you to get in harm’s way.”

Officer Carol Riley said the community can assist in BPD’s efforts by being a good witness.

“If you see something suspicious, call it in,” she said. “Never feel as though your information is not important. Let us check it out.”

She added that informants can remain anonymous, but information that leads to these criminals is too important not to share. Additionally, Riley said that businesses are being asked to check out surveillance footage, an act that may thwart a future burglary, as suspects are believed to have scouted out many burglaries prior to actually hitting the location.

“It’s all over Beaumont right now,” Singletary said, adding that residents should be on alert. “Don’t make yourself an easy victim.

“And if you see ANYTHING suspicious, call us.”