NOTI, Ore. — The new year comes with a plea for at least one Lane County family–an increased presence by the Lane County Sheriff’s Office.
A family in Noti says criminals are now intentionally targeting her property because they know the sheriff’s office is facing budget concerns and can’t respond.
Heather Stahl says she first watched someone break into her garage about two weeks ago as she was on the phone with deputies. Since then, she’s seen a non-stop presence of prowlers and suspicious people.
When she calls the sheriff’s office, it can take more than an hour for a response because deputies will first respond to violent crimes.
She feels like the criminals have learned the sheriff’s office limit and now they’re specifically targeting people who live in rural areas.
“It’s affecting me every day. I’m looking out the window all the time. My dog barks, I look out to see what’s going on. It’s affecting my kids. They’re scared to death. Just seeing somebody do what they did is enough to make you scared and be on alert all the time,” Stahl said.
The sheriff’s office did not comment on specifics to a rise in crime in this area but said it’s doing the best it can with limited resources.
Stahl hopes to start a neighborhood watch program in her area.