A rural county in Missouri has seen a jump in residential burglaries lately and to combat the rise in felonies, the sheriff has employed an unusual tactic to fight the uptick in crime. Usually seen on residential streets where drivers travel too fast, blinking signs have been warning residents of rural Greene County, Missouri to watch out for potential burglars.

The sheriff of Greene County says the blinking signs inform would-be burglars that the eyes of the community are on them and are looking out for them. Recently, sheriff's deputies put up multiple electronic signs in three areas that have been hit by residential burglaries. The signs flash, "Sheriff's Crime Alert. Burglaries/Thefts on the rise." Though law enforcement believes the signs to be helpful not everyone agrees.

To some homeowners who are trying to sell and real estate agents the signs are a warning to potential buyers that they may be looking at a home that is in a neighborhood with a high crime rate. Over the last year Greene County, Missouri has seen a 32 percent jump in home burglaries and stolen vehicles. In the last three months of 2011, around 190 burglaries were reported.

The sheriff of the county says the burglary issue has to be addressed as efficiently as possible. The sheriff's department has to patrol 670 miles and the department is filled with a team of 41 patrol officers and 20 detectives. For a while, the department handled the growing number of complaints by working overtime but the strategy was not feasible in the long run. The lack of people in the department to address the reported burglaries forced the county to get creative.

So far, at least one law enforcement official believes the sign campaign is working. People are calling in and providing tips.

Source: usnews.msnbc.msn.com, "Sheriff's weapon in fighting crime - blinking signs," Sevil Omer, February 1, 2012