Patrolman Greg Baron said the scenario unfolded at about 4:51 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, when Tessie Rugar noticed two boys breaking through a fence at the old Madderra-Flournoy Elementary School at the corner of Lott and Tyler streets.
“They had a hammer with them,” Baron said of the two 10-year-olds. They had already broken through the fence and gotten into the school compound when Rugar picked up the phone and called the police department.
“She had training,” Baron said, noting that all members of local neighborhood watch programs are taught how to report a suspicious incident.
Rugar did not just call in the report and hang up the phone. Baron said she stayed on the line and kept up the communication between herself and the police department dispatcher, just as she had been trained. The dispatcher then maintained contact with the patrolmen answering the call, informing them of the location and activities of the two juveniles.
The dispatcher also called Roy Galvan, who is in charge of maintenance for the Beeville Independent School District.
He showed up with a key to the gate and let officers inside.
“Once they were on the scene, she was able to physically direct the officers to where they were hiding,” Baron said of Rugar.
Not knowing exactly what they had, the officers approached with caution and took the two would-be burglars into custody.
The two were taken to police headquarters where juvenile probation authorities were called in. They were charged with criminal mischief for damaging the fence.
Baron said the offense is a Class B misdemeanor because the cost of the damage ranged between $50 and $500.
Baron said the city has three active neighborhood watch groups and they provide security in their neighborhoods.
Baron and Police Chief Joe Treviño said that without the assistance that trained neighborhood watch volunteers provide, vandals and burglars could cost city residents a significant amount of money to recover damages.
Anyone interested in starting a neighborhood watch program should contact Baron at BPD headquarters at 358-8100.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.