Elderly Considered Easiest Target For Criminals, Expert Advises On Precautions


By Catalina Trivino

It's happened twice in the last few months in south Alabama -- an elderly person murdered in a home invasion. We have expert advice for the elderly who may live alone... and for the loved ones who care for them.


Deputies in south Alabama tell us it's elderly people that are the easiest target for criminals. And they're saying now is the time to take precautions.

Mary Court tells us she's often home alone -- but she doesn't take anything for granted...

"This is the first thing I do when I come out my door... I lock both locks!" Said Court.

Last November, a 72-year-old woman was killed in her Georgiana home and an 88-year-old man was killed this week in his home in Crenshaw County. With the recent crimes against elderly people in Butler and Crenshaw counties, her daughter, Cynthia Morgan, says she has concerns for her 72-year-old mother, Mary.

"The world is changing. And people think that they can live comfortable like they used to live because of where we're from -- it doesn't matter. Things can happen in a flick of a finger... so I do worry," Said Morgan.

Butler County Assistant Chief Deputy, Lenny Lee, has seen his fair share of crime against the elderly during his 21 years in law enforcement.

"Simply because of their upbringing from the past and trusting people in the past on a personal basis," Said Lee describing why the elderly are targets in crime. "And they're easily intimidated. People look at them and think they're weak." He says for that reason, you need to be ready if the worst happens.

"In my purse I have my keys, I'm always with them; I have my pepper spray, I always carry it; my cell phone, I keep it; and I also carry my tazor," Said 72-year-old Court.

Lee says it's especially important this time of year to be aware of your surroundings. As more traffic comes through south Alabama in the coming weeks, that's when more criminals try to strike. Deputies say many times, the person targeting the elderly is an aquaintance.

"You have everything from home repair to roofing, flooring, there are vacuum cleaner salesmen," Said Lee.

While it could be anyone knocking on your door, the Butler County Sheriff's Office is emphasizing to lock it at all times, even if you're at home or running just across the street.

Deputies also recommend carrying a "life-alert" type of necklace... with the push of a button, police would be called immediately when your safety is at risk.