LOGAN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Courtney Blevins wasn't surprised to hear about a rise in the number of home invasions in her community.
She recently watched her own neighbor catch burglars in the act.
"He caught them taking meat out of his freezer," she said. "And juices for his son. [Food] that you know, he needs to live off of."
Belvins lives in Logan County where two violent break-ins were reported during the weekend -- one in Kistler and the other in Christian, just outside of Man.
Another happened in the Branchland area of Lincoln County, where the suspect was armed and dangerous.
"It's on the increase ... it's happening a lot more than it has in the past," West Virginia State Police Sgt. J.C. Dotson said.
But there are steps you can take to protect yourself. Dotson says purchasing a home security system is one of the best options.
If cost is an issue, he says deadbolts and metal door clamps can help protect you, posing a difficult barrier to break through.
A four-legged friend can also double as an alarm system.
"Dogs are actually a good security device," Dotson said. "Usually if it's an [intruder], they'll make a scene."
State Police say it's key to know your neighbors and work with them to report and stop suspicious activity.
In the areas with active neighborhood crime watch programs, troopers say the number of emergency calls have drastically dropped.
"It's rare that we would get calls for burglaries or larcenies in places with a neighborhood watch," Dotson said.
Troopers also recommend having a 24-hour lighting system on your property.