COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – We first brought you a story on Wednesday, about an alert neighbor possibly ending a Golden Triangle burglary ring.
The neighbor saw the suspects on Sierra Court and called police, leading to five arrests.
Networking and getting to know the people who live next to you, is what being a good neighbor is all about.
Many Columbus neighborhoods are creating, or have already joined neighborhood watch groups, and CPD says it’s making a difference in crime.
A village may help raise a child, but it can also help catch a crook.
“You are in control of your own neighborhood watch. The police department does not run your neighborhood watch, you run it. It’s up to you to control and take, do not let people come into your neighborhood and take over your neighborhood,” says Rhonda Sanders of the Community Policing Division.
Neighborhood watch groups aren’t the only option.
There’s app, alerts, and websites, like this one called Next Door.
It shows who members are, suspicious activity in the area, and even lost pets.
“It’s good to know what’s going on. If you see something strange report it, call 911, and let us know so we can get out in the neighborhood and catch the burglars and people that don’t belong in your neighborhood.”
Shelenia Henry created a crime watch group after her home was broken into.
She did it to make sure she won’t fall victim to another break-in and to keep it from happening to her neighbors
“We’ve basically become more vigilant. A lot more have gotten alarm systems, and we call the police a little bit more than we use to call. We live in a cul-de-sac and basically, it’s only one way in, one way out, and if you’re on our street, we’re basically, you shouldn’t be here.’
Even if your subdivision, or street doesn’t have an organization, it’s still important to look out for each other like this resident and his neighbors do.
“We all look out for each other and you know, if there’s anyone suspicious, driving slowly, anyone that shouldn’t be in the area, you know, we all have our list of names, numbers, and we start calling and we start texting,” says David Vega.
Sanders says another way to prevent break-ins is to not post anything about being out of town on social media.
She says burglars watch for those posts and wait until you’re gone to break-in.