The Prairie Township Board of Trustees paved the way for the installation of two new streetlights in a Lake Darby Estates neighborhood in an effort to deter crime.

The Prairie Township Board of Trustees paved the way for the installation of two new streetlights in a Lake Darby Estates neighborhood in an effort to deter crime.

The measure came at the Sept. 24 board meeting where trustees approved the lighting at the intersections of Lakefield Drive and Darlene Place and Lakefield Drive and Crestwater.

Township administrator Tracy Hatmaker said the Franklin County Sheriff's Department indicated that the streetlights would help to deter crime and the criminal mischief of youths.

"This was an issue raised by the residents," township administrator Tracy Hatmaker said. "Deputies indicated that this would be a good idea. There is a lot of delinquent and criminal activity taking place."

Hatmaker said a home invasion type episode had taken place in the area, as well as people setting off homemade MacGyver type explosives, just to name a few of the criminal activities taking place.

"The Ohio Revised Code allows the board to add a light to a lighting district without a petition," Hatmaker said.

Fiscal officer Dan McCardle said the cost of the two lights will be $14 each, per month. A cost the lighting district can easily absorb, he said.

"The lighting fund has an adequate reserve for two additional lights," McCardle said.

Trustee Steve Kennedy said at first the board was considering only lighting the intersection of Lakefield Drive and Crestwater, but after further study, Darlene Place also warranted a light.

"There is a definite need," Kennedy said. "I think it makes sense to consider a light at Darlene and Lakefield."

Trustee Nicole Schlosser said this is a situation where there has been an increase in criminal activity, and it's the board's job to see to the safety of its residents.

"When there is an opportunity to increase public safety, this is when we consider such an option," Schlosser said.

Deputies of the Franklin County Sheriff's Department also warned residents to be on the lookout for suspicious activity. A rash of break-ins into sheds and garages have jumped at an alarming rate.

Deputies want Prairie Township residents to keep all doors and garages locked, and to call the dispatcher if they believe suspicious activity is taking place. Deputies reported that there were recently 15 reports of break-ins during one morning in the Old Village area.