Residents in the Mountainview neighborhood in Waco have seen a significant increase in burglaries and thefts reported in the last few months, according to Waco Police.
In March, Mountainview residents reported eight burglaries of vehicles, homes and theft, according to Waco Police crime statistics. In April, residents reported 28 and in May, there were 32 burglaries and thefts.
"It's a crime of opportunity so often," Waco Police Department spokesman Sgt. Patrick Swanton said. "Citizens are helping make it an easy target. If you leave your laptop, or your iPad or your phone or your purse in your car, unlocked in your driveway, you're inviting trouble."
Liz Crump has noticed the increase in crime, and she doesn't live in the Mountainview area. She lives in a nearby neighborhood. Crump said people are starting to use the app, NextDoor, to report incidents. The amount of incidents happening in the neighborhood and in nearby neighborhoods is concerning.
"Criminals know no boundaries," Crump said. "There have been numerous not only auto-burglaries but auto-thefts."
There have been home invasions too, Crump said.
"It's not just happening at night. It's happening in the middle of the day," Crump said.
Back in May, Waco Police responded to a call where a homeowner watched four men burglarize his home on his phone via live security camera.
"Because of that we were able to take down a potential major burglary operation," Swanton said.
Crump said she and other neighbors are concerned about the increase in crime, so she organized a community meeting on Wednesday to talk with Waco Police about the best way to handle the burglaries.
Waco Police suggest adding security systems or cameras to your property, keeping your home well-lit, locking your car and making sure you take all of your belongings inside your home with you.
"We know there have been weapons taken from vehicles in that neighborhood," Swanton said. "That's horribly dangerous not only for the people in that area but for the officers who respond to those calls as well."
Crump hopes Wednesday's meeting will open the dialogue for people to work with Waco police.
More than 100 residents in the Mountainview neighborhood have teamed up to start patrolling the area and reporting suspicious activity. They will be using an app called Zello to communicate with one another.
If you live in the Mountainview area of Waco and would like to help, contact Mike at (254) 400-9877.
Police say if you see something suspicious, call them and be descriptive about what you saw. Be sure to write down the time that it happened, descriptions of the person or people and any license plate numbers on cars they're using.
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