Crime trend worries Fort Deposit residents

FORT DEPOSIT, Ala. (WSFA) -- It's a nightmare Clay Nolan's 19 year old daughter barely escaped.

A robbery attempt just outside of Fort Deposit last week put the lives of four teens in jeopardy.

"The vehicle ran in front of them, stopped them, blocked the road, and [the suspects] came out shooting at them," Nolan explained.

Luckily, no one was hurt, and the suspects are in jail, but the focus moves to a dangerous trend taking over the town.

"[We've had] numerous break-ins and things of that nature-- and people are upset," Nolan said.

The overwhelming concern from residents is that crime in Fort Deposit is on the rise.

However, with law enforcement already battling a tight budget, the town's police chief says he's doing everything he can.

"We can't tell these bad guys that we don't have law enforcement.  We've got law enforcement, we just don't have enough people on the job," Turner admitted.

Turner is the only available full-time officer on the force.  That lapse in protection worries residents.

"The little bit you try to have, they just try to take from you," explained Pap Saright.

"I sleep with a gun beside me, with a shell in it.  I have dogs.  I have a fully fenced-in yard, and I'm prepared," said Elizabeth Tillery.

If things do get out of hand, many residents stand ready to deal with criminals on their own.  That's an option Chief Turner recommends if the going gets tough.

"Stand up, do what you're supposed to do about it. You have a right to protect yourself," he said.

Still, uneasiness falls over Fort Deposit as residents hold their breath.

"You kind of [think], 'What am I supposed to do?  It doesn't look like it's getting any better,'" Nolan said.

WSFA 12 News attempted to reach Fort Deposit Mayor Fletcher Fountain, but we were told he was unavailable.  Stay tuned for the latest developments in this story.