Benbrook Neighborhood Vows to Fight Rash of Burglaries

Residents have been working to spot trouble for months before Tuesday's violent home invasion

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Benbrook police say they have Erik White, 22, James Burns, 19, and Dvonte Chadwick, 18, in connection withe violent home invasion and robbery of a woman inside her home, but the residents of Ridglea Country Club Estates are still on edge. (Published Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013)

    The three men arrested in connection with a violent home invasion robbery in Benbrook on Tuesday have been identified, but residents are doing something about a recent rash of break-ins.

    Gordon Stone, a Code Blue Citizens on Patrol area captain, said he about six other citizens have increased their patrols and reached out to more neighbors since the number of burglaries in the Ridglea Country Club Estates neighborhood picked up last fall.

    "The emphasis now is daytime patrols," he said.

    Citizens on patrol and residents look for vehicles that are casing the neighborhood or parking where they don't belong. On Tuesday, a neighbor saw just such a vehicle and called police, foiling the robbery and leading to the homeowner's rescue.

    Stone said more and more citizens in the area are getting on board.

    "They're getting better all the time, and I keep telling them, keep those plates coming," Stone said, referencing license plates of cars observed in the area.

    Eric White, 22; Dvonte Chadwick, 18; and James Burns, 19; all of Fort Worth, were arrested in connection with Tuesday's home invasion.

    Burns, according to a public records search, has a prior record with a drug possession case from 2011.

    The violent beating and tying up of a female resident during the robbery has neighbors baffled.

    "This, was, like I say, 10 o'clock in the morning," said Robert Abshire, who lives down the street.

    It's by no means the first burglary or even home invasion in the area.

    Benbrook police confirmed on Tuesday that one other burglary had been committed in the area this year. Neighbors say it involved the same house as the home invasion, but the homeowner didn't wake up when the burglars broke in during the overnight hours.

    In a review of Fort Worth police reports, NBC 5 found at least four other home burglaries and two home-invasion robberies since last June.

    The most notable incident happened on Nov. 29, 2012, at about 10 a.m. According to the report, a man kept ringing a woman's doorbell on Battle Creek Road. She never answered the door and eventually, he came around back and kicked in a door. The woman, 73, grabbed her shotgun and scarred the man off.

    "She had it out and was close to it, and it scared him off, thank goodness," Stone said.

    The area homeowners association president said leaders continue to work with both Benbrook and Fort Worth police on how to reduce the number of break-ins. The neighborhood, which contains roughly 700 residences and the Ridglea Country Club, is about 65 percent in Fort Worth and 35 percent in Benbrook.

    Stone said his immediate neighbors are considering posting surveillance cameras at the one entry point onto their streets.

    "We're going to try and set up two cameras there to catch incoming plates and outgoing plates," he said.

    Fort Worth police also said they would increase patrols when there is a high concentration of crime.