Friday, April 18, 2008

Block Watch Success

Highland at Rogers Ranch Block Watch is the new group page that I set up for our neighbors to communicate about issues important to them in regard to the block watch and other neighborhood concerns. As some of my close friends and family can attest, I've made this something of a mission in the last month.

Crime has suddenly spiked in our area, where we previously had none to speak of. A year ago, you could search on the crime maps at (and other sites) and see nothing at all of significance. Now, however, it's a different story, with a sudden onslaught of burglaries, home invasions, shootings, kidnappings, large-scale drug busts, and other activities that you would expect more out of a slum than a nice middle class neighborhood.

Beginning in mid-March, apparently, several groups began targeting all of us suburbanites for these types of crimes. According to a reliable source, the police caught part of one such group that had been targeting newer neighborhoods in Laveen, Chandler, and Gilbert. And whether fortunately or not remains to be seen, but it was in the neighborhood directly east of us that they made the arrest last month. This is in the same span of time that we've seen some shocking stories of home invasions, kidnappings, and drop houses nearby.

It seems that a couple of high profile and/or disruptive incidents have finally made people more aware of a serious threat, and our community has decided that we will not be an easy target. Of 157 homes in our subdivision, Catherine and I got 32 people to sign up for the formal block watch, along with several others expressing interest. This is merely the beginning, but it's been a huge success so far. I can promise more good news soon (and hopefully no more bad news).

1 comment:

~~Stefany~~ said...

One year ago, before my husband and I moved into our nice home, I checked out the crime rate in Laveen. I was pleased to see the usual little petty shoplifting incidents, and not car theft, shootings, robberies. On the day we picked up our keys, March 10, 2007, a man stole a car, and then went on a high speed chase down Baseline with the police.

He then stole an off duty fireman's truck and crashed into several cars. While standing out front, we heard at least a dozen police cars speed by. The incident ended at 51st Ave and Baseline, with the suspect being caught in the neighborhood directly behind Fry's.

I wondered then, did I make the right decision, but then again, this was an isolated incident, right?

Two weeks ago, I became the latest victim of this horrifying crime spree, when my home was burglarized and all of my comforts were removed. I no longer look at my home as a sanctuary, but rather, a home where someone who I don't know, went through my things, and took what they could. My daughter refuses to sleep in her own room, and would prefer to sleep on the floor in mine.

The next day, Patrick came to the door, and boy did I let him know what had happened. I am so glad to now be able to go out and traverse the neighborhood, and hopefully send a message to the ones that have taken from the rest of us..."We are watching, and if I don't call the police, MY NEIGHBOR sure will!"

I am so honored to be a part of the block watch, and hope to see more people join and become active participants.