Neighbors Watching Neighbors

Neighbors Watching Neighbors

The arrest of two men Monday in a Wichita Falls burglary was because neighbors heard a noise and called police. That is happening more frequently in Wichita Falls and so we hit the streets to see if we could find out why this trend is growing.

"Even though we do everything we know we can do as a homeowner or a property owner to limit our chances of becoming victims, it can still happen. So, having a good relationship with your neighbors really can help because you're looking out for each other," said Wichita Falls Police Sergeant Harold McClure.

Just under a week ago another home burglary was thwarted after neighbors called 911 and gave a description of a suspect breaking into a home. A neighbor behind that home actually snapped a few pictures of the suspect as he ran away from the backyard. 

That particular neighborhood did not have a watch program. But, a few simple clicks online and they could have what is known as Nextdoor, which is easy to set up and can make a big difference.

"With this Nextdoor, boom, you're getting email. You're getting alerts on your phone. You're talking back and forth, just like you do on Facebook," said Sergeant McClure.

Nextdoor, also allows police to let you know if there are any trends going on that might help you keep from becoming a victim.

"If we're having an issue on one neighborhood, cars are getting busted into over here, we can go ahead and send an alert out to all the neighborhoods. We have access to all of them, McClure said.

The old Neighborhood Watch programs are slowly dying, simply because of the on going lifestyles of so many people. Let's face it, we have a lot going on. The online system not only makes sense, it goes with you.

"Everybody is on that social media. Whether you like it, whether you don't like it. Whether you think it's a great thing, or not, a great thing the simple fact is, it's here and it's what people use and next-door just taps right into that," Sergeant McClure says.

One thing we and police want to emphasize is, that you don't have to get physically involved to stop a crime. You can do just as much good by being a good witness. Police can do a lot with a direction of travel and a description. Call 911 and tell them what you are seeing, then let the officers do their job.