ST. ALBANS, W.Va. -- St. Albans City Council members heard from residents concerned about increased crime at a meeting Monday.
Adam Rowsey and his brother-in-law, Mark McCoy, have been the victims of multiple car break-ins. Rowsey's car was burglarized once, while McCoy has had his vehicle broken into 10 times.
McCoy has had expensive sunglasses, iPods and change taken from his vehicle.
"It doesn't seem to show any sign of stopping," said Rowsey.
Rowsey said that while the police respond to their calls, there "seems to be a lack of enforcement."
Police Chief Mike Matthews said the department is understaffed and does the best it can with limited resources. While officers may have suspects, many times they do not have the evidence needed to get convictions.
Matthews emphasized the importance of prevention.
"They're not breaking the windows, they're not jimmying the doors," he said. "They're getting into unlocked vehicles."
Councilman Dan Cain and Councilwoman Cheryl Thomas said neighborhood watch programs are important in combating such crimes and commended the department in its efforts to bring offenders to justice.
"We like to think we have one of the most efficient police departments in the valley," Cain said.
In other business, council members voted to refer a recommendation by the Finance Committee to increase Mayor Dick Callaway's salary to the Ordinance Committee and the Municipal Utility Commission.
The city pays 60 percent of Callaway's $40,000 salary. MUC pays 40 percent.
After reviewing the issue, Ordinance Committee members will draft an ordinance detailing the recommendation. Council will vote on the measure at a later date.
The salary changes would take effect in 2014.
City Council also recognized Helen Margaret Bassitt for her service to the city.
Bassitt, a St. Albans resident of 79 years, is a charter member of the St. Albans Historical Society, and a member of the St. Albans Partnership and Chamber of Commerce.
"She is a fixture in St. Albans," said Dale Withrow, St. Albans Partnership secretary.
Callaway also named John Johnson the official Santa Clause of St. Albans.