Rural residents, especially those whose homes are the most isolated, can be prime targets for thieves.
An 85-year-old retired farmer living alone in rural Sullivan County was killed last weekend when he surprised an intruder in his home late Friday night or early Saturday morning. Electronics and other items were taken from the home, but according to Sgt. Joe Watts of the Indiana State Police Post in Putnamville, no tools or equipment were missing from the barns.
“How he came into contact with the intruder is unclear,” Watts said, explaining the fully clothed body of Lowell Badger was found by his son near a doorway between the man’s bedroom and living room. He said it’s also unknown how many intruders there were.
There are a few precautions rural residents can take to help prevent incidents such as the one at Badger’s.
“Home alarms are a good idea,” Watts said, adding that many will send a signal to the police when doors or windows are forced, and some have a personal panic button that can be carried on your person.
“If you live in a rural area, make sure to keep your residence locked at all times,” he continued. “Make sure if someone knocks on your door, you don’t let them in. Tell them you’ll call someone for them, and keep them outside.”
If anything seems unusual and you’re uncomfortable, call the police. Watts also recommends calling a relative and telling them, “hey, there’s a stranger at my door and I just called the police,” so someone else is aware of the situation. He cautions homeowners to be sure anyone who comes to the door can’t push their way in, and to remain inside the home if at all possible.
Daviess County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Gary Allison said even if it means shouting at the person through a closed door, the safe thing to do is to keep the door closed and locked. He suggested telling the person at the door that you’ve called law enforcement and to wait outside.
“If you have elderly family members, check on them,” Watts continued.
“If you see suspicious activity or a suspicious vehicle at any time, we’ll check on it.”
Writing down a license plate number, vehicle description or an individual’s description can help law enforcement officers with the checks, and also help them track down criminals if a crime has occurred, he said.
“Don’t confront them,” Watts cautioned. “We prefer you call local law enforcement and let us check it out. That’s our job.”
Allison agreed with Watts’ tips.
“Call us and we’ll get there as soon as we can,” he emphasized.
According to Allison, home invasion is a year-round problem and happens “24-7.” He did not believe there had been a recent increase locally.
In the Sullivan County case, Badger’s son found him deceased Saturday morning during a routine visit. There were visible signs of trauma, according to the state police, and Sullivan County Coroner Jeff Griffith released the manner of death as homicide and cause of death as a gunshot wound.
Police currently are conducting interviews, and they’re receiving leads, but no arrests have been made. They’re asking anyone who has knowledge of a friend, relative, acquaintance or pawn shop that recently obtained a black Sony Bravia, 46-inch, LCD television in a suspicious or questionable manner to contact ISP First Sergeant Jeff Hearon or Detective Tom Hanks at the Indiana State Police Putnamville Post 765-653-4114. Tips can remain anonymous.
“Monetary donations from the Sullivan County community and local businesses have been exceptional,” Watts said. “Through the donations and the combined effort of 1st Financial, Sullivan County Credit Union, Indiana Farm Bureau and Wabash Valley Crime Stoppers, the reward amount as of now is $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those person(s) responsible for the death of Lowell Badger.”
- Local News
- Washington City Council approves rezoning request Washington will be expanding its housing options after the Washington City Council approved an ordinance to rezone land on Bussard Road. The property, owned by Jason Knepp of J and L Home Center, is just over 10 acres and will be rezoned Residential
- State Haitian organization holds town hall meeting The Haitian Association of Indiana hosted a town hall meeting for local Haitians Sunday, officially meeting the largest Haitian population outside of Indianapolis. Around 50 Haitian residents, along with 30 other local residents, listened to state an
- Today's police report CITY REPORT Monday 2:25 p.m. – A female caller said two juvenile males were picking up and throwing green apples near 310 Ogdon St. The apples were clogging storm drains. The males were then asked to pick up the apples. 8:55 a.m. – An employee of Che
CR 900 East project stays on schedule
Phase 1 of the expansion project on CR 900E (Odon-Cannelburg Road) is due to be completed this week and officials say they expect the bulk of the work to be done on time. "They have a number of small things that need to be finished," said Daviess Cou
- Leg of I-69 project now due to open by end of 2015 INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Department of Transportation now plans for the Interstate 69 extension to reach Bloomington by the end of 2015, a year later than originally planned. INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield tells the Evansville Courier & Press
VIDEO: Coming Attractions
The Indiana Theater in downtown Washington is under new owner Brent Barnhart and plans to open this fall after being closed for over three years.
- Ruth Gilmore Ruth Gilmore, 80, of Washington, died at 4:38 p.m. at Prairie Village Nursing Center, with family by her side. Born Nov. 10, 1933, in Knox County, she was the daughter of James Howard and Blanche (Chadd) Weibel. She worked for 10 years as a certified
- Shoe Sensation gives back to Cops and Kids Shoe Sensation has presented Cops and Kids with $468 in donations collected from its customers during a drive to assist Cops and Kids. Cops and Kids works with children in the community to ensure that they have basic necessities and toys. This progr
- Friday's police report CITY REPORT Friday 10:27 p.m. - Jerry Gaither, 1422 Brett Cabel Road, said his mailbox was damaged. 5:14 a.m. - Ladonna Abel, 622 S.W. Sixth St., said a purple Harley-Davidson motorcycle was stolen. A report was made and a tip said they believed a ma
- New school security system going into place in Daviess County From the outside looking in schools in Daviess County don't appear to have done much to upgrade security this fall. There are no new fences, no gates, no guard shacks, but officials say the School Guard system is being put into place and should be re
- More Local News Headlines