Get involved — it’s important!

It’s important to get involved, and that’s perhaps never any truer than when getting involved means helping law enforcement officers solve crimes, putting those behind bars that wreak havoc in communities or cause harm to others.

We preach it from these pages often, but we don’t believe it can ever be said enough: Stepping forward does make a difference. In fact, it might be the critical piece in solving a crime, the one thing law enforcement officers need to end a string of break-ins, put a halt to assaults in a given neighborhood or stop vandalism, much like those Clinton police are dealing with right now.

Last week, officers urged residents to come forward with any information they might have on these criminal events which have been taking place across the city since Dec. 2, or to call 911 if they see suspicious people or vehicles in their communities.

According to an article that ran in Sunday’s Independent, the suspects are reportedly targeting windows on both homes and vehicles, with BB guns as their weapon of choice in committing these senseless acts of mayhem.

In all, there have been 10 to 15 vandalism in areas of Park Avenue and Kerr Street, the Belfield community, North Boulevard and Coharie Country Club. It needs to stop. But to stop it, officers need tips that can lead them to the culprits.

And that’s where residents come in, even though getting involved might not be what you immediately want to do.

It can and does make a difference.

Tips were exactly the reason police were able to arrest suspects in a recent attempted theft at the Sampson Regional Medical Center gift shop. It was, officers noted, because residents chose to get involved that the trail wasn’t allowed to get cold, suspects were apprehended and perhaps even another theft thwarted.

The same could be true of the vandalism. One tip could make all the difference. A piece of information someone might think irrelevant could be the key to solving these crimes and stopping the mayhem before it reaches more communities in our great city.

It is likely that the culprits will strike again if they aren’t caught, and we can’t imagine that anyone wants that to happen, particularly if they have even the smallest piece of information that could bring the problem to an end.

We know getting involved means stepping out of our comfort zone, but step out we should, understanding that it takes us all being vigilant and concerned to ensure that those who would do harm are not allowed to do so.

If you know something, please take the time to provide the information to police. There are many ways to do it and remain anonymous at the same time. Those with information can call Sgt. Robbie King with the Neighborhood Improvement Team at 910-592-3105, but information can also be reported anonymously by calling 910-590-3009 or texting keyword tipcpd and the information to TIP411 (847411) or by sending information through the “tipcpd” app for Apple and Android devices.

Help if you can. It’s important.