I'm a local resident of 38 years. Born and raised here. I work as a vendor here in West Virginia and Ohio. As a vendor I never had problems with theft until I came to the Parkersburg Homecoming. This past weekend I had approximately $150 stolen from my booth during and after close of business. Friday night, and during the show I had items stolen from me.
To deter thieves on Saturday night I dropped one side of my canopy and really kept an eye on everyone. That worked, but then Saturday night someone actually broke into my canopy and stole items from me. The thieves went through quite a bit of my stuff and stole many items.
Sunday afternoon I had a mother with her child approach me with a pair of sunglasses in her hand. She stated she bought the glasses Saturday and they were scratched and wanted a refund. They were not my glasses. I told her so and she left. It was obviously part of a scam as I overheard many other vendors talking about her trying to pull the same trick on them. Minutes later I noticed a pair of sunglasses missing and went after the girl. I saw my sunglasses in her stroller, called the cops and followed her. After waiting on a cop to arrive for 15 minutes, I decided to take matters into my own hands and confronted the girl. She eventually admitted stealing them and gave them back. Police officers eventually came to the scene and confronted the girl as well. So I caught that one.
Now I'm asking myself, do I want to attend the Parkersburg Homecoming next year? Probably not, which is sad. This is my hometown where I still live 38 years later. The Parkersburg Homecoming needs to up their game. Customers need to be charged admission and security needs to be increased. I never have a problem with theft until I attend an event here in Parkersburg and I do many events a year with no problems at all. I had items stolen Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That's sad. If customers were charged admission, this would change the type of people who attended the event and money would be made on admission.
Something needs to be done or the Homecoming will continue to be negatively affected.