South Tyler Couple Asks Local Police to Secure their Home

Tyler police are waiting for DNA test results that will tell them how many suspects they have in three sexual assault cases.

Two victims were assaulted within a block of each other in South Tyler last month...and another woman was attacked in West Tyler.

Since police released a sketch of the Wimbledon attacker, they've received over 40 leads.

Investigators expect to have those tests in the next four weeks. Meanwhile, more Tyler residents are asking Tyler police for home security inspections. Crime prevention officers even offer their inspections for free.

A South Tyler couple, who chose not to reveal their names, invited crime prevention officer James McCraw to safeguard their home Friday afternoon.

"We were just very angry that we couldn't feel comfortable leaving our drapes open or whatever," said one of the homeowners.

A few tips McCraw gave to the couple: use double cylinder dead bolt locks when a door has windows within 40 inches of the lock; use two and a half inch to three inch screws to hold locks and strike plates together; and improve window locks.

Securing the outside of home, requires more attention to natural landscaping, says Officer McCraw. Shrubs should be kept short, so criminals can't hide inside or behind them. Plus, all dark areas should be well lit.

And if a resident is not a dog lover, than they're at a loss. Apparently man's best friend is an intruder's worst enemy.

Officer McCraw has even heard criminals say they avoid homes with dogs.

"If there's a dog. They might go to another house," he said while watching the couple's three dogs play in the backyard.

Crime prevention officers for all three Tyler police districts inspect homes for free. Homeowners can even get a discount on homeowners insurance by improving home security and having an official inspection from an officer.

In some cases, when home alarms are added, the discount can reach 20 percent.

If you'd like your home inspected by a crime prevention officer, you can call the police department in your local district.

District One: Officer Sandra Mast, 531-1097

District Two: Officer Tom Hrobar, 535-0155

District Three: Officer James McCraw, 535-0197