By Kim Powell
ODESSA - It's beginning to be a normal sight to see on the news; surveillance footage of armed robberies taking place, pictures of suspects, and anything that could possibly help nab the bad guys. Odessa Police say it's no secret that there's been an increase in violent crimes as of late.
"We have seen an increase in violence here, but the main thing is just, like I said, always be aware of your surroundings, be aware of where you're at, who you're with," Steve LeSueur with the Odessa Police Department (OPD) said.
On Friday morning, a man was stabbed when four suspects demanded him to empty his pockets, sending him to the hospital. On Thursday night, the RadioShack on Grandview was robbed when a man walked in asking about police scanners. He then pointed a gun at two employees and demanded cash out of the register. It was the same story at Eskimo Hut on Tuesday--a suspect threatened employees with a gun.
"It's unknown if there's a co-relation with that or if it's in reference to a drop in oil prices, but regardless we're still going to combat it. I mean, regardless, we should always be prepared and expect the unexpected," LeSueur said.
Authorities are now encouraging residents to use RAIDS Online, which is a website that will tell you everything you need to know about crime happening in your neighborhood. OPD also says that there's recently been a spike in single women being robbed as they're walking into their apartments at night.
"If something doesn't seem right, it probably isn't. It's better to be safe than sorry and just call it in and report, because you really have nothing to lose," LeSueur said.