Residents hold community meeting to address rise in crime in Tobaccoville

TOBACCOVILLE, N.C. - The village of Tobaccoville is experiencing a rise in nearly every type of crime, and on Tuesday, the community is coming together to talk about how they can combat it.

“Before our house was broken into, the one on the very end [of the road] was broken into,” said Darrell Blackburn, who says he and his wife fell victim to a break-in in September of 2015.

However, more recently, the house which he was referencing was broken into once more, on April 5.

“I had gone to work, hadn’t been there more than about a half hour,” Blackburn said, of when his wife called him, “telling me, in a panic, that the house had been broken into.”

When Blackburn returned home, he was greeted by several deputies and family members. Although they had a security system, which he says did scare off the person(s) responsible, it didn’t active quickly enough to prevent them from becoming victims.

“I hate to say it, but two watches; one my wife had just bought me the month before for our anniversary,” he said, of the items stolen.

But, even more everlasting than the emotions felt after the items were taken, are the ones felt in the absence of something much more valuable; their sense of security.

“The fact that my wife was so upset, upset me of course, because now we felt violated,” Blackburn recalled.

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office says property crimes in Tobaccoville – which include burglaries, larcenies and motor vehicle thefts - occurred 22 times in 2015, 16 times in 2016 and 26 times this far in 2017.

“The break-ins themselves are done with so much arrogance,” Blackburn said. “They don’t care.”

Simple assaults are also on the rise in the village, according to the sheriff’s office. In 2015, there were eight simple assaults, in 2016 there were 14 and in 2017 there have already been 16.

“To me, they’re low life,” Blackburn said, of the criminals.

The village held a community watch meeting on Tuesday, which was scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Alice Watts Tuttle Community Center. Representatives from the

Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office were scheduled to attend, and update the community with statistics, current happenings and tips to keep the community safe.

“It’s hard to define that type of person,” Blackburn said, of people who prey on others. “One, they have no respect, I think is probably the biggest part of it. They don’t have respect for the law or for other people and that’s probably the way they live their lives.”