Cary residents worry about crime in wake of shooting

February 17, 2011 4:57:27 AM PST
The shooting of a man who took hostages at a Cary bank last week has some residents looking at crime in the city.Authorities had set up decoy cars around the area even before the hostage situation, but they want people to know crime hasn't gone up in west Cary, it's just that many of the recent crimes that have happened are high profile cases.

Last Thursday's three-hour hostage situation is the latest high profile incident at the Cary Park Town Center.

The same Wachovia branch fell victim to an armed robbery in December.

The suspects in both cases lived in The Grove At Cary Park apartments behind the shopping center.

The same complex was the scene of a murder in April of last year -- the town's first in two years.

"For a lot of people here it's very shocking," receptionist Chris Comphel said. "One lady actually said the other day that this is the first time she's seen yellow tape around anything."

Comphel was working at the J&F Gemelli Salon when the hostage situation unfolded last week. He says they have even been victims of petty crimes at his work.

"We've had somebody sneak in through the back door a couple of times and try to rob people of their purses and stuff," he said.

Comphel says he believes trouble is spilling over from the neighboring apartment complex.

Police say the number of calls from The Grove falls in the middle of the pack compared to other apartment communities.

Staff at the complex told ABC11 Wednesday they had no comment.

However, thoughts about safety in Cary vary.

"I feel safe, my wife feels safe in this neighborhood," Cary resident Dwight Peebles said. "We don't have any issues with crime."

"We actually had people cancel appointments a couple days afterward as well, because they were a little rattled by what happened," Comphel said.

Police have stepped up their presence in the area with decoys and the real deal.

"I think it's helped to make people feel more secure," Comphel said.

Police will have a community meeting scheduled for Saturday morning at Mills Park Middle School. They say residents who live and work in west Cary and the Cary Park area, or those who have any concerns are asked to attend.

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