Local News

Fayetteville homeowner uses sign to warn neighbors of burglaries

Posted April 16, 2010
Updated April 17, 2010

— A Fayetteville homeowner has put up a plywood sign in his front yard to warn neighbors about a rash of burglaries in the area.

“Really, it was done out of frustration,” said Pat Leal, of McNeill Circle.

The sign, which Leal put up on Tuesday, reads, “This home was robbed. You’re next. Pay attention."

“That’s my way of saying, ‘Hey, we’re all getting broken into. We all have to pay attention,’” he said Friday. “I wrote ‘You’re next’ to get their attention.”

Fayetteville man uses sign to warn against burglaries Fayetteville man uses sign to warn against burglaries

Before the April 9 robbery, he thought something like that would never happen to him, Leal said.

“I thought I lived in an area that was a little bit more community-minded,” he said.

One week ago, Leal said, someone kicked in his back door and took a flat-screen television and jewelry his wife inherited from her deceased mother. No one was home at the time.

“If I hadn’t put the sign up, it wouldn’t have been publicized. My neighbors wouldn’t have known I was broken into,” he said.

Leal’s brother, who lives nearby on Fort Bragg Road, said his house was also broken into last month, and a computer was stolen.

Despite the two break-ins, police records show there hasn’t been an uptick in burglaries in the area. Since Jan. 1, 19 break-ins have been reported in the area along Morganton and McPherson Church roads, police said.

Leal's break-in was the first reported on McNeill Circle this year.

Leal said that his message isn’t about crime statistics, but about making his neighbors realize that a burglary can happen anywhere, at anytime and to anyone.

He said he hopes the sign will encourage his neighbors to get more active in the community.


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  • familyfour Apr 20, 2010

    Good for HIM!

    Who cares about property values...if your community isn't a safe one, it doesn't have any property value, anyway.

    That was a silly comment.

    We should all hope that all our neighbors would be so kind....ain't like the police are gonna let us know, or the media.

    We just ain't that special.

  • colliedave Apr 16, 2010

    need to put up a sign "All properties protected by Smith and Wesson."

  • OpenM1nd Apr 16, 2010

    I wonder if he knows that guy from Cary... ;-)

  • signothefish Apr 16, 2010

    Welp, there go the home values in his community.

  • Every Good Boy Does Fine Apr 16, 2010

    This is a very bad problem in Fayetteville. We had a story in the last couple of months about a guy who was pending trial on several break-ins and the magistrates kept letting him bail out so he could do more. They treat this as non-violent crime but if someone kicks in the door to your house and steals your stuff, he ain't exactly someone we can count on to respect your safety zone.

  • shortcake53 Apr 16, 2010

    How frustrated and violated they must feel. Good idea to put up the sign alerting his neighbors. It may be a deterent to future robberies near his home. I hope the perps are caught.