SW Missouri sheriff uses blinking signs to urge vigilance

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — The sheriff in southwest Missouri’s Greene County has turned to blinking electronic signs to fight a spike in burglaries.

The Springfield News-Leader (http://sgfnow.co/xdz2Fw) reports that the signs flash “Sheriff’s Crime Alert. Burglaries/Thefts on rise. Report suspicious activity.”

Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott says financial problems are making it harder to respond to crime surges. He says 190 burglaries were reported in unincorporated areas of the county in the last three months of 2011. That’s a 32 percent increase over the same period in 2010.

Arnott has been pushing a sales tax hike to boost staffing but says the new signs are not connected to the April vote. He says the signs proved effective when he used them during a spike in cattle thefts a few years ago.

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