Neighborhood watch helps police nab man on the run in Laclede County

LACLEDE COUNTY, Mo. -- Laclede County's Community Watch is not your average group of vigilant neighbors. Most recently, with one phone call, they snagged the bad guy.

"When the Sheriff called, he gave me a brief synopsis of what had taken place and asked me to contact the neighbors," said Sassafras Drive Community Watch captain David Anglin. "He gave me a description of the guy they were looking for."

Anglin, as usual, found himself right in the middle of all the action the day Sheriff David Millsap says Lebanon police tried to stop a stolen car when but the man driving it, instead, took-off. Sheriff Millsap says the man eventually ditched that car near the Eagle Stop just off exit 140 in Laclede County, which is when he made a call to the Sassafrass Drive Community Watch captain.

Anglin let neighbors know to be on the look-out. Then soon after that, a man saw the suspect outside his home. Sheriff Millsap says when the bad guy asked for a ride, the community watch member drove straight to the Eagle Stop, walked inside, and told a deputy “I think your guy is in my truck.”

Anglin explains, "As soon as the guy was apprehended, then we again called all the neighbors and told them he had been picked up, that everything was fine, and nothing to worry about."

He's a community watch captain in one of the county's 11 areas, and says since it's start two years ago there has been a definite difference.

"When you think of community watch, you think of a lot of houses close together," said Anglin. "We're not. We're like a 3-and-a-half mile stretch of road that goes from Route 66 to Highway N. So, we felt it was really important because we're not living real close to each other."

Deputy Roger Sherrer now heads up the program Sheriff David Millsap started two years ago. But, it's a little different in rural Laclede County where deputies have a lot of ground to cover.

"That's why it's really important for me that I have a friendship," explained said Sheriff's Deputy Roger Sherrer. "If somebody calls me from either from Conway or from here, wherever it may be, and they say 'this is what's going on'. I know who they are, I know where they live, I know who their neighbors are, and I know exactly a lot of times, what they're referencing."

It's a program that both sides say has changed they way they see one another - - for the better.

Distinct signs mark neighborhoods that get involved - not just for looks - - it's all part of the strategy in Laclede County for their calculated goal.

"It lets people know if they're not from this area and they see that sign... they know that if they drive down this road somebody's going to be watching them."

The distinct signs that mark the neighborhoods that get involved are not just for looks, it's all part of the strategy in Laclede County for their calculated goal.

"It lets people know if they're not from this area and they see that sign," Anglin said. "They know that if they drive down this road, somebody's going to be watching them."