Pond Branch, SC (Paul Kirby) – Residents from the Neely Wingard, Truex, Ben Franklin Roads area of Lexington County are getting ready to take back their community from people who have mischief and mayhem on their minds. They are forming their own Neighborhood Crime Watch after some burglaries occurred and suspicious vehicles and people began to show up in their quiet, rural area.
They have decided to name their group the Pond Branch TBOC (Take Back Our Community) after a Facebook group of the same name. That’s where many of them met for the first time, even though they had been living in the same general area for many years.
The group that is already about ten strong is willing to help one another and the neighbors they haven’t even met. They will watch out for each other’s homes and property, as well as some of the elderly in the community who might be home all the time, but can’t really get out to check on their places.
The first meeting will be held on Monday, April 24th at the Fellowship Hall of the Pond Branch United Methodist Church. This is located at 1913 Pond Branch Road, Gilbert, SC. This is the big beautiful church right near the intersections of I-20, Neely Wingard, and Pond Branch Roads. The fellowship hall is the big building across the street that sits under the nice trees. The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m., and everyone and anyone who lives anywhere in that general area that cares about what’s happening in the area is invited to attend and become involved.
The area’s resident deputy from the sheriff’s department will be there to represent Sheriff Koon and the region’s commander, Captain Kevin Howard. He will advise the group on how they can cooperate in a safe and effective way with the deputies of that agency. He can also introduce them to all the programs the sheriff already has in place to make things better. This includes the Vial of Life program, the department’s free property checks while away program, home security checkups, and others.
These neighbors are adamant that they are taking control of their area and no crooks or criminals will be able to wrestle their love of the country and quality of life from them. Criminals and mischief makers take note, they will be watching for you!
If you want to know more about how you can make a difference in your area, call the sheriff’s department at (803)785-8230. Talk to the operator and ask to be transferred to the Crime Prevention Bureau.