Local News

Community Wants to Shut Down Crime Wave

Posted January 31, 2008 10:32 p.m. EST
Updated January 31, 2008 10:55 p.m. EST

— More than 100 residents at a community meeting Tuesday night issued a call to action against a crime wave in an upscale north Raleigh neighborhood.

An upsurge in break-ins and thefts in the Brier Creek neighborhood caught the public's attention after shots were fired early Sunday morning. A resident who chased after a suspicious vehicle said gunshots were fired, Kathi Hunter, chairwoman of the Brier Creek community watch, said.

Thieves broke into 31 vehicles in Brier Creek during the past three weeks, police said. In most cases, the vehicle doors were unlocked.

"Things like that happen, and you feel violated," said resident Todd Clardy, who reported a $500 phone, sunglasses and some CDs stolen from his car parked in front of his house.

Residents who attended the community meeting said the debate got heated. Several crime-fighting ideas proposals included hiring security guards, becoming a gated community and installing security cameras.

A representative of the Raleigh Police Department at the meeting said police were committed to formulating a plan for the neighborhood to fight crime. The representative said most of the incidents were crimes of opportunity that simple actions, such as locking doors, could prevent.

Hunter said the neighborhood needs to cut down on the crime quickly.

"Right now, we look like an open gift store: 'Come on in, and take whatever you want," Hunter said. "And I'm sure that will eventually spread around to other criminals who say, 'Well, gee, that was easy. I'll just go and find something harder to get.'"

Residents said they want their privacy and their sense of security restored.

"I think it's important to make sure that we feel like we have a safe place to live," Clardy said.