SIKESTON -- A Sikeston resident is calling for a "zero tolerance" curfew.
During the regular City Council meeting Monday, Margaret Ann Moon, who owns adjoining properties on South New Madrid and William streets, related experiences she described as "a snapshot of what is transpiring and will continue to transpire in this community."
Moon related several cases of vandalism, theft and trespassing during the summer months which culminated in an incident on Oct. 31.
"A mob -- and I say mob, not a group, a mob -- of approximately 14 to 20 black male juveniles ages ranging from age 13 to 16 approached my property," Moon said. "One of these individuals with a false face on told me, 'Give me candy. I got a gun.' Up until this time the damage was to property, but now we had a threat to do bodily harm. I no longer feel safe for my family, myself, my animals or my property.
"This property is no stranger to crime," she continued. "Although this property is less than a quarter mile from the police department and City Hall, since my purchase of the property in 1985 I have had four tires slit, one window broken out of a car, two cars keyed two times, a hood emblem broken off, cars and house egged, house broken into with the theft of a stereo and carpet urinated on, the house on William broken into and the furnace rigged to explode, my dog Giant shot in the head, and in 2004 both vehicles vandalized by someone running on the top of the car, stomping the hood. Both of these cars were totaled by the body shop due to damage."
Adding that she regrets not calling police and insisting on a report each time, Moon also described vandalism in the cemetery across the street and on a nearby apartment building and related frequent turnover of homes in the area and how families are relocating from the neighborhood after living there for generations. She also commented on the negative effect crime has on property values.
"Do I think anyone is singling me out? Not at all," she said. "I think that this is a reflection of the community at large. If it is not happening yet to your property, it is just a matter of time."
Moon said she was speaking "as a concerned citizen eager to be part of the solution" and called for proactive measures. The performance of the Sikeston Department of Public Safety "has ranked superior and has always exceeded my expectations," she said, but DPS needs to draft police reports without citizen requests.
"There is one common thread: juveniles and night," Moon said.
She stressed the need for getting names and documentation to track prior warnings and to strategically locate police officers.
"Existing ordinances about curfew should be reviewed and revised to reflect current problems," Moon said. "I ask you, what business does a juvenile have out after dark?"
She said parents need to be held accountable for the whereabouts of their children.
Following her comments, Mayor Mike Marshall asked DPS Director Drew Juden to arrange a meeting with Moon and the juvenile officer.