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Neighbors react to burglary and chase in west end Beaumont
BEAUMONT - By Megan Dillard - People are still reeling after police conduct nearly eight-hour manhunt Wednesday in the west end of Beaumont.
It began when a women who lives in the 800 of Shakespeare called police shortly before noon Wednesday.
She said two men were trying to break in to her home. Police found the men a few blocks away.
When officers confronted the pair, one of the men pulled out a shotgun.
The officer and the man with the gun got into a struggle.
No one was injured and the pair got away.
Police quickly caught the first suspect, 22-year-old Jarit R. Banks.
Investigators spent several hours searching for the other man, 17-year-old Juan K. Roberts. Police accuse him of pulling the gun on the officer.
They used a K-9 and a helicopter to corner the teen in a large field near Dowlen and Delaware.
Just before seven police arrested Roberts at Park West and Dowlen. KFDM spoke with witnesses who described parts of the west end as something out of a movie, with dozens of police cars racing from street to street during the manhunt.
The burglary and chase has one west end homeowner on a mission.
Bart Owens is at work in Port Arthur, but his thoughts drift back to his neighborhood in Beaumont.
A burglary and manhunt Wednesday one street from his home motivated Owens to take action.
"I sat down last night and drafted a newsletter and then I walked the neighborhood and put it in every mailbox."
The crimes that startled families here prompted Owens to create a new neighborhood watch group.
"If we can put pressure on criminals in Beaumont Texas to go other places, I think that's important."
Owens says many retired people live on these streets that became the focus of a manhunt for much of the afternoon.
The panic grew as the day wore on.
One neighbor reached out to Owens at work.
"It's a very upsetting reaction, especially when a retired neighbor calls you extremely upset to let you know what's going on."
One crime in one house affects the rest of the community as well.
This Beaumont police sergeant believes there is strength in numbers in the power of fighting crime as a team.
"I think it's a good thing community is coming together. We need more of a response like that. We all live in this community. We're all responsible for it. So we ask that every community become partners with the Beaumont Police Department."
A partnership Bart Owens believes will send a strong message to those breaking the law.
"Don't come on Saratoga or Hialeah. Everyone is on high alert. We're going to call the police department every time we see something out of line. They're going to send somebody out, and they're going to want to know why you're there and what you're doing."
A warning from the creator of the city's new neighborhood watch group.
A judge has charged Jarrit Banks and Juan Roberts with burglary of a habitation.
Roberts posted $15 thousand bond and was released from jail.
Banks remains behind bars on a probation violation.
Beaumont Police explain the pair could face additional charges.