"Neighborhood Watchers" fight back against burglars - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

"Neighborhood Watchers" fight back against burglars

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email 

PHENIX CITY, AL (WXTX) - After a series of break-ins in one Phenix City neighborhood, the residents are getting fed up and fighting back.  Homeowners around the Sandfort Road Park have taken all the appropriate measures to fight back against crime and now they are banding together.

Imagine your home is broken in to several times and your neighbors have also been burglarized multiple times. What would you do? One Phenix City neighborhood is coming together and letting criminals know they are not welcome.

Brad Wheeler has lived in Phenix City for 14 years and in the past year he has faced a re-occurring nightmare, "I just had my third break-in in August. They cut the wire here, I had the alarm on, the alarm went off, they broke the door, stole my stuff again and they were out. We came home around six o'clock and the door was off the hinges and all our electronics were gone."

He may have been victimized, but he says he refused to be a victim, "My first burglary happened on October 1st.  My second was in November. You may say I didn't do anything to stop them, but we did everything we possibly could as fast as we could."

Wheeler and some of his neighbors are using locked gates, security systems, surveillance cameras and other devices to keep thieves out. He told News Leader Nine, "We've put up measures here. We have 24 hour surveillance. We will stop them here but they're just going to go to your house."

Wheeler adds that's why their neighborhood watch program is so important, because real people looking out for each other is the best way to deter criminals, "You don't have to drive the police crazy with every little suspicion but if it's an emergency, call 9-1-1. You see something out of place, a car in someone's driveway, if you have a hunch about something, pay attention to those hunches, you might be surprised."

The "Neighborhood Watchers" have kept a Facebook page for residents to post suspicious pictures or sightings and they have also started their own website for residents all over the valley to use when they see crime happening. You can find more information on their organization and others like it at the links below:

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