City-wide crime spree concerns communities, police seeking suspect


Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - David Dycus

UPDATE (2/11/14): The Benton Police Department is asking for your help in identifying a man caught on camera trying to cash a check that was stolen from a vehicle in Benton, Kentucky early Monday morning.

He was described as wearing dark pants, a black North Face jacket and a dark hat with a logo on the front.

If you have any information about this case, you are asked to call the Benton Police Department.


BENTON, Ky.---Car windows smashed, firearms and money missing; deputies say one person or a group of people covered lots of ground while you were sleeping.

More than a dozen people in Benton, Kentucky were burglarized.
Right now half of the town's police force is dedicated to catching the criminals.

The crimes occurred in lots of places on different sides of town.
There doesn't seem to be any method.

The victims and law enforcement want to make sure these crooks don't strike again.

Retired Deputy Andy Sedlock didn't plan on investigating any more cases. That was before today.

Admittedly embarrassed, Sedlock said he left his car door unlocked last night, now his gun is gone.

"I hope that pistol doesn't turn up in the wrong place, in the wrong hands, that's my main concern at this point," Sedlock said.

Some stolen items already turned up, and in some odd places.

Kent Owens said someone shot out his wife's car window, and stole a purse.
This morning, roadside workers found all the contents, except the cash and a prepaid credit card.
Owens drove out to the roadside today, hoping to find more.

"We thought we'd just drive out here, see if maybe the other things that were missing were thrown out here as well," Owens said.

He didn't find a thing. Benton Police Chief Tracy Watwood said his officers are looking everywhere for anything that could lead to an arrest.

"It doesn't seem that they targeted any certain neighborhood. Because they been, they were on both sides of the the city," Watwood said.

As for Sedlock, he's focused on the footsteps. A clue that could lead to the capture of a crook that shook up an entire town. 

Chief Watwood said the people behind these crimes will face criminal mischief, theft, and first degree burglary charges.

Officers believe the thief entered one home while armed.
That's why it's first degree burglary.

The chief is telling everyone; don't leave valuable items in your car and always lock your vehicles.
If you have any information about these crimes call the Benton Police Department.