Summer is the most important time of the year to consider keeping our neighborhood safe. Summer is almost here and with that comes so many wonderful images: warmer weather, longer daylight hours, more outdoor gatherings and everyone feels a bit like they’re on vacation without actually leaving the neighborhood. Unfortunately, the byproduct of this looser, more mellow attitude is we inadvertently let our guard down a bit. Catching that summer cross breeze or letting the sunlight stream into our homes through open doors and windows may feel terrific, but it means we’re not as protected against intruders as we should be.
“Catching that summer cross breeze … through open doors and windows … means we’re not as protected against intruders as we should be.”
Typically, Cheviot Hills is not a home to crime. Occasionally there is a non-violent occurrence such as a car break in but, for the most part, this is an extremely safe neighborhood with no cause for concern. Many neighbors don’t feel the need for a home alarm and some admit to not bothering to lock their doors during an evening stroll around the block. There is a private security patrol that drives through the streets keeping a watchful eye on suspicious activity and generally speaking, neighbors don’t seem to worry about any kind of lack of safety or problems.
Over the last month though, our perfect slice of suburbia has experienced an uptick in crime, thanks in large part to a group of brazen individuals who have been relentlessly targeting our neighborhood. These small groups of men and women have been knocking on doors to first see if
people are home and if they are not (or don’t appear to be), these individuals will enter the homes and help themselves to small items and jewelry, preferably gold. They are well-dressed, young and African American and have been seen walking with briefcases as well as entering and exiting nice cars ranging from BMWs to Range Rovers.
Since the crime wave started, police have been holding community watch meetings and the message to worried residents is clear and consistent: Invest in an alarm system and keep your windows and doors locked. Have the appearance of being home even if you are not so leave a television and/or interior lights on while you’re away.
Speaking of lights, exterior motion sensor lights are very important. Police also recommend having a dog. Of course, there is no guarantee that a dog will prevent a break-in but in the split
second a robber has to decide whether or not to intrude, sometimes all it takes is a healthy bark to send that bad guy on his way.
“in the split second a robber has to decide whether or not to intrude, sometimes all it takes is a healthy bark to send that bad guy on his way.”
Police don’t expect this strange rash of robberies to persist; in fact, they say that the numbers of break-ins have decreased from the time they were first reported. It’s always a good reminder, though, to stay vigilant and to look out for each other. When faced with these unwelcomed invasions, the community of Cheviot Hills really mobilized to take a stand. E-mail chains were
quickly established and every time a new occurrence would take place, descriptions of the perpetrators were distributed like rapid fire. Once a photo got snapped, their time sneaking around came to an end.
No one wants to think crime can come into their home but when or if it does, it’s nice to know we live in a community that really protects one another. The message to these guys was very clear: You messed with the wrong neighborhood and we will not stand for it at all. Good riddance, robbers. There’s no place for you here!
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