Local News

Neighbors, Police Band Together to Fight Oxford Vandalism

Posted July 17, 2000

— People in an Oxford neighborhood have shown what happens when residents join police to fight crime.

Buddy Childers said vandals stuck seven times in four days last week, harassing him and neighbors. The worst part for Childers was when the vandals poured rock salt all over the garden he had worked so hard to grow.

"I tried to dig it away," he said. "I just basically abandoned it."

Childers' mother, Rebecca, said the attacks were more than typical teenage pranks.

"I've had teenagers myself, and I know they play pranks. But this got to be a little more than a prank," she said.

Duke Hayes lives next door to the Childers. When vandals targeted Hayes' house, he says they went too far.

"Eight or nine families decided enough was enough. So, we eventually identified [the suspects] and their vehicles," Hayes said.

The neighbors' information was the key to unlocking the mystery.

When Oxford police first began receiving the vandalism reports, they had no information to go on. Once the neighbors began looking out for each other, writing down license plate numbers and recognizing suspects, the police had enough information to make three arrests.

While the residents and police are confident that the group of vandals has been broken up, the Childers are not taking chances. They have installed bright outdoor lights and a surveillance system.

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