Police chief among those hit by Westville burglars

Police chief among those hit by Westville burglars

WESTVILLE — Westville police have stepped up patrols following a spate of burglaries, including one at the chief's house.

"We've had about eight or nine," Chief Dave Booe said of the break-ins, which have occurred at all times of the day and night over the past few weeks. "They are kicking in the doors and taking mostly jewelry and cash. They've even taken a few guns."

Police are still investigating. They do not have any suspects at this time.

Booe said his home was hit around Feb. 18 or 19.

He is a police officer on four small departments. He recalled that on Feb. 19, he went to work a shift in Catlin. Around 3 p.m., a neighbor called to tell him his front door was open.

"I came to the house and discovered (the door) was kicked in," said Booe, who hadn't been home for about 1 1 / 2 days.

Booe said the burglar or burglars stole two guns, a camcorder and a jar of change.

"One of the guns, a shotgun, was one that my grandfather gave me," he said. "You can't put a value on that.

"It felt awful," he said, of being victimized. "I've had it happen before where they tried to break in. At the time, I had a dog in the house. I think that's what stopped them ... When it happens to you personally, it hurts."

Booe said police have checked all of the pawn shops in Vermilion County to check for the stolen items, and he's even checked some outside of the county.

He said none of the victims, including himself, had a security system. Since then, a few have had them installed.

"That's definitely something I'm planning to do," said Booe, who replaced his broken door with a new steel one.

Booe said his department of four full-time and seven part-time officers have also increased patrols.

He asked anyone with any information on the burglaries to call Westville police at 217-267-2131 or Vermilion County Crime Stoppers at 446-TIPS (8477).

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Dread Pirate DNT wrote on March 14, 2018 at 11:03 am
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Way to keep the community safe, Chief. Lock up your guns or don't blame criminals for using stolen guns in your narrative because you were too lazy and careless to properly lock them up. What was the other gun stolen? My guess is it's an assault rifle and they don't want another blow to their failing gun talking points. SAD.