Meeting held about neighborhood crime

January 14, 2009 9:03:55 PM PST
Residents in the Hope Valley Farms Neighborhood met with Durham's Police Department and city leaders Wednesday night after a terrifying crime spree.Police Chief Jose Lopez, Durham Mayor Bill Bell and several city officials were among those who crowded the meeting Wednesday night.

"I think they're just showing that they care and that we're not alone in this and they're just kind of giving us some support," resident Ginny Riley said.

The concern is over two incidents happening late last month during the holidays.

In the first incident, residents sitting inside their car in their driveway noticed suspicious men walking in their direction. The men ended up brandishing pistols, stealing the resident's possessions and firing shots as they drove off.

The same suspects are believed to have fired shots at another neighbor the next day.

"We've lived in a false sense of reality a little bit," Riley said. "We live in a really nice neighborhood; it's very safe, crime will happen."

Residents had earlier claimed it took police 30 minutes to respond to one of the incidents, but Chief Lopez said records show it took less than 10 minutes.

'When something like that is perceived and it gets to my office and my department we go out and we look into it to make sure that that didn't happen, because that's not the way we do business," Lopez said.

Aside from increased patrols in the area and a reverse 911 calling system to alert residents, police told people who live in the neighborhood the best defense is common sense.

"Make sure you have your lights on in the front of your house and motion detectors on your driveway light, just things like that," resident Margaret Page said.


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