DURHAM, N.C. — Retail space, stores and traffic are all growing rapidly near Durham's new mall, The Streets at Southpoint, but right next door, the neighbors claim crime is also on the rise.
"If they're not going to keep me safe and make me feel like I can walk into my apartment without getting jumped on, I'm not staying," resident Wanda Bassett said.
Bassett said someone broke into her car and took everything.
"[Someone] opened up the glove compartment and took everything out, opened up the console and took everything out. [Someone] pulled the back seats down to get access to my trunk," she said.
Several other cars in the area also showed signs of break-ins. The neighbors said they did not expect it to happen at their apartment complex.
"It's a beautiful apartment complex with the mall going in right down the street. We thought that would be a great thing. Now we're wondering if perhaps that's not going to bring more traffic and more crime," Bassett said.
There have been at least four car break-ins at the Lodge at Southpoint as well as several reports of car vandalism. The Durham Police Department has assigned a special task force to try to put a stop to it.
Three investigators are now working specifically on car break-ins in the new apartment complexes around Southpoint. Police are trying to spread the word about their presence.
"It's just letting residents know we're out here, not to keep anything valuable in their car, lock their car at all times and just be aware of anything that's going on. Any suspicious activity or anything they see, [they need to] make sure to call 911 immediately," investigator C.J. Cone said.
Durham police are holding a community meeting to address residents' concerns. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 19, at the Lodge at Southpoint apartment complex.