Victims Of Vandals Want More Patrols In Lauderdale County

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - Vandals break into a Shoals home and destroy everything inside.

According to Doris and Randy Hill, their house in Florence has been a target of destruction nearly a dozen times. 

Now the victims want the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department to increase patrols.

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A security system alerted the family about the break-in and Lauderdale County Sheriff’s investigators responded to the home in disarray.

“You don`t know what they are going to do next.  They`ve broken, stolen stuff, you fear for your family, yourself,” said the victim of vandalism, Randy Hill.

Even with a home security system, the vandals were able to do a lot of damage, in a short amount of time.  The Hill’s say there`s just not enough deputies out in Lauderdale County, because according to the family, it took deputies nearly an hour to get to the scene.

And according to the Hill’s, the vandals take advantage of the Sheriff Department's downfall.

“They know they`ve got so much time for the deputies to show up, they know that,” said Randy’s wife, Doris.

Lauderdale County Sheriff Ronnie Willis admits the department is short staffed.

Right now, the department is down at least eight deputies.  Some on family leave, others are sick, and two are suspended after a deputy involved shooting earlier this month in Lauderdale County.

“I don`t know who to talk to, the commissioners or whoever, but it`s sad,” said Randy.

Sheriff Willis tells WHNT News 19 deputies are working overtime taking calls and investigators are even taking patrol shifts, to cover the county until more deputies get hired.

On average, Sheriff Willis says there are six deputies on duty during the day, and three during overnight hours – to cover about 700 square miles.

“It`s just going too far, it`s outta hand,” said Randy.

According to Sheriff Willis he's in the process of hiring another deputy.

However, until those extra patrols pop up across the county, the Hill’s say, they won't let this vandalism affect their family.

“We`re not gonna let them run us off, this is our home.  This is what we work for, this is what we wanted.  We were at our other place for 16 years without any problems,” said Doris.

Sheriff’s detectives are still investigating the case.

If you have any information about this case you are asked to call the Shoals Area Crime Stoppers tipline at 256-386-8685 or the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department.

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