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Mabton residents to discuss block watch

MABTON - Shelley Luther-Mireles knew something was wrong. Two young males were walking from a house with bags of stuff in their hands.

She contacted Mabton police and the two boys were caught with property that wasn't theirs.

"I saw these two boys in my back yard," Luther-Mireles said. "I opened the door and asked if I could help them but that scared them off. I knew something was up."

Mabton residents, she said, have been experiencing a sort of lawlessness in their town lately.

Kids are doing what they want, Luther-Mireles said. They drive fast up and down the streets and also through the high school parking lot.

Fed up, Luther-Mireles voiced her concerns at Tuesday night's city council meeting.

She hopes to organize a block watch with the help of Mabton Police.

"We used to have a block watch and it knocked crime down by about 60 percent," Mabton Officer Mike Britton said.

There would need to be a captain on every block. The captain then organizes their block into watches.

Police are only allowed to be involved for one year, Britton said. It must then be turned over to the citizens.

If we don't get the community involved, it's going to get worse, Luther-Mireles said.

Mabton Mayor David Conradt agreed, saying, "a block watch will get more citizens involved in things."

Britton reminded everyone it is not just Mabton teens doing the break-ins. The two boys Luther-Mireles caught were from Sunnyside.

Residents of Mabton will meet Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. in the council chambers to discuss organizing block watches. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

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