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Citizens Fight Growth-Fueled Crime in Eastern Wake County

Posted September 14, 2007

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— Eastern Wake County has always had a small town feel, but with population growth, some communities have found themselves combating big-city crimes.

Knightdale's population has almost tripled in just over a decade, up to nearly 9,000 from 3,000 in the mid-1990s, town manager Seth Lawless said.

"A lot of that's been fueled by the two new roads, I-540 and 264. It's a lot more convenient to live here," Lawless said.

When a community grows, so does the criminal element, and eastern Wake County is experiencing that phenomena, said Mike Anders, head of the Eastern Wake Crimestoppers.

"What we've been experiencing over here is break-ins, vehicle break-ins, home break-ins, and then some violent crimes, too," he said.

Anders pointed to Wendell, where Bobby Marcellus Frazier, 60, registered sex offender was arrested last week for assaulting two elderly women.

That's where Eastern Wake Crimestoppers helps out, giving police extra eyes and ears in the community, Wendell Police Chief Joe Privette said. Crimestoppers is run by citizens and pays rewards for information about crimes, all while keeping the tipsters' identities anonymous.

"Folks know what's going on. We've also received a lot information that people didn't want any money for," Privette said, "but it was helpful to have that anonymous line where they can call in and just simply give us that information."

In Zebulon, Crimestoppers helped solve and catch two suspects in a break-in at a Nationwide Insurance office last year. The two suspects "are in jail for about 10 years, is my understanding," Lindsey Weaver, a Nationwide agent, said.

Crimestoppers' strategy of an anonymous tip line and rewards is working in eastern Wake County, Anders said.

"We have given away a lot of money, and when we give away a lot of money, that removes criminals off the streets," he said.

The group also wants criminals to literally pay for their crimes, Anders said.

If a tip leads to a conviction, the group believes the convicted criminal should be required to reimburse Crimestoppers for the reward it pays out. The group is working with judges and district attorneys in Wake County on that idea, Anders said.

Crimestoppers is an example of what communities need to do to prevent the growth of crime, officers said.

"Everyone has a responsibility to help control crime," Privette said.

22 Comments

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  • missdawg Sep 15, 2007

    I lived in Knightdale from 1993 to 2004 before I moved to northwest Raleigh. Knightdale was a small town with small town charm when we moved there, but I have to say I was happy to move out 11 years later. The crime rate has gone up tremendously, and the problems are only getting worse as the area grows. Even the once nice neighborhoods have gang activity. I wouldn't even consider moving back there now.

  • Steve Crisp Sep 14, 2007

    To newtodurham again:

    Do you even have a clue as to how scientific investigations are performed? You create a hypothesis based on any evidence you may have at hand, legitimate or not. Then you conduct investigations that will validate it or eliminate it as valid. If it is invalidated, you move on, conceding that the initial hypothesis is in error. If it is validated, however, you continue to gather information that supports your thesis until you eventually may obtain evidence that is contrary. You then reformulate the hypothesis and the process continues.

    I have evidence from eyewitnesses, my own experiences, and listening to police scanners that most of the crime associated with eastern Wake County towns is seemingly caused by people with Hispanic names, And there is a strong correlation in this area between Hispanic names and illegal aliens. The natural extention to that evidential beginning is that illegal Hispanics cause most of the crime.

    That is a hypothesis. Disprove it then.

  • Steve Crisp Sep 14, 2007

    What I find amazing is that there are two distinctly different types of illegal aliens and very few people make the distinction. There are the older males who leave their families in their home country to come here and either establish themselves as reasonably successful people. Or they make as much money as they can in order to send it back so their family can enjoy the "finer things" in life like food and shelter. They tend to live four to eight in a house or an apartment, pooling funds and resources in an effort to better everyone involved. It is very much like the old 60s commune without the free sex and drugs.

    Then there are the young males who are here to extend a life of crime. They tend not to have even a semipermenant place to live, but drift around committing crimes as they go. They are the drunks, drug addicts, and gang members.

    The former, if identified as such, I encourage to come to the US with their families; they add to our national success. The latter can die.

  • cartman Sep 14, 2007

    I agree with Steve Crisp and Harrison, let's look at the illegal population to see if this is the problem.

    And newtodurham, I'm not a conservative. I believe the illegals are fueling this increase in crime.

  • Harrison Bergeron Sep 14, 2007

    Oops - forgive the typo: 31% AA not 41%.

  • Harrison Bergeron Sep 14, 2007

    Furthermore, I should add, that according to a the USDOJ OJP document, "National Youth Gang Survey Trends", the ethnic demographics of gang participation in the US is:

    47% Hispanic
    41% African American
    13% white
    7% Asian
    2% Other

    newtodurham, What other information do I need to provide to pull your head out of the sand? Actually, that's just a rhetorical question; I already know the answer.

  • Harrison Bergeron Sep 14, 2007

    Actually, newtodurham, Steve Crisp's question is completely valid. Existing statistics support his proposition. For example, taking violent crimes statistics from the FBI (BJS, offender data and victim survey data) and analyzing them against census data shows that the BEST indicator of violent crime in a given area is the percentage of minority population.

    This indicator (the correlation coefficient) was 5 times stronger than either education level or poverty rate.

    Couple this with the notion that gangs are merely a proxy for ethnic affiliation, and you have more than enough data to pose a question such as Steve's.

    If anyone can produce an data to the contrary - I would be VERY interested in seeing it.

  • Silver loves Rebel Red puppies Sep 14, 2007

    I live out in Eastern Wake, I love it there and have ever since I moved out there from Raleigh early 1998. It's a good place to live. Knightdale is growing and I'm ok with that, I don't have to drive to Raleigh to shop anymore. Crime may have increased, but I wouldn't say crime is rampant out there. There is a gang presence, but what I've mainly seen is vandalism from teenagers and 20-somethings who are "marking their turf". Some young people from the really nice neighborhoods are in that scene too, not just trailor park kids. Are they trying to look tough or cool? I don't know the answer to that. Jump-and-run wrecks, children run over in ther own driveways and alcohol related domestic violence are biggies for certain groups. Poverty does not cause crime, maybe greed, but not poverty. And I absolutely agree with Rockinhorse, if someone is willing to work hard and try hard, they CAN better themselves.

  • Here kitty kitty Sep 14, 2007

    Rocknhorse: I am from K'dale and we have seen an increased gang presence. In the last few months at least 2 town meetings have been held at a local church involving various leaders from the community. As I recall over 200 people attended, so we are attempting to come together to fight the problem. Had the meetings not occurred on a night I worked I would have tried to be in attendance also.

  • Steve Crisp Sep 14, 2007

    To newtodurham:

    First, it was not a comment, but rather an extension of a question, but a question based on incomplete information I possess. That is why I asked for clarification.

    And like any good liberal, you obviously see any question whose answer MAY possibly disparage any minority as racist even if the conclusion may be identical or similar to the one I tentatively drew.

    If you have information that does not support may tentative hypothesis, once clearly based on claimed incomplete and anedoctal evidence, please bring it forth. Give me numbers and percentage breakdowns drawn from law enforcement records.

    If it turns out that I am in error, then very fine. I then contructed a potentiallly plausable hypothesis based in incomplete evidence to be tested. But if initial impressions are correct, then how can the truth be racist? For that matter, how can the recommendation of a legitimate sociological study be racist?

    That is how the scientific method works.

    But you wouldn't know.

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