ATKINSON — After a number of attempted break-ins this month, police are trying to start a Neighborhood Watch to discourage burglaries in town.
Detective Sgt. Philip Farrar said police need the public's help, but not enough people have come forward yet.
"We have limited resources," he said. "We don't mind chasing reports of suspicious vehicles around town. We can't be in every driveway in town."
Because of the recent upsurge in crime, Farrar said he has heard from a few interested residents, but nothing has been officially organized.
"I had one lady that seemed really interested, and I sent over the pamphlet about the Neighborhood Watch," he said. "When she read it, she said it was too involved and didn't want to do it anymore."
Farrar said Atkinson has been trying, unsuccessfully, to start a Neighborhood Watch since 2010.
"There were a few break-ins at the time," he said. "When something goes on, people are interested in a Neighborhood Watch. But when it quiets down, it goes away."
Farrar said if someone is interested in starting the program, the police department will help set it up.
"It's not run by the police, it's run by citizens," he said. "It's just getting people to look out for each other. We'd meet with them once a month as a support role."
He said residents can decide how much time and effort they would like to put into the program, tailoring it to their needs. Once it's started, residents can put up signs to warn criminals the neighborhood is protected by a Neighborhood Watch, which could deter some crime.
Mary Carrubba lives on Conley Road, next door to a house burglars tried to break on May 5. The would-be thieves were scared off by an alarm.
"I was kind of shocked right after it happened," she said. "I have two kids and you start to worry since the road has been hit before."
She said a Neighborhood Watch seems like a great idea, but her neighborhood already has an informal watch.
"We all look out for each other," she said. "People will call if they see a strange vehicle in someone's driveway or whatever. I don't know what it would involve more than what we do already."
Carrubba said she wouldn't be the first person to step up to lead a Neighborhood Watch because she has to take care of her children.
"But if everyone is in on it, I'm all for it," she said.
William Jeffrey lives on Westside Drive, a street where a suspicious incident occurred a few weeks ago.
"I think it's a terrific idea to have a Neighborhood Watch," he said. "I'd support it and I'd be happy to join in on it. I hope we get some leadership and get going on it."
But he said he'd rather not take a lead role.
"I'd like to be in more of a follower role," he said. "I'd be willing to cooperate with police on this. I do already look for suspicious things in the neighborhood and have reported things in the past. It's just a matter of being vigilant and keeping your eyes open."
Farrar said he hopes more citizens will come forward to volunteer.
"The burglars are pretty brazen these days," he said. "They pull right up the driveway and knock on the doors. The community and the police department need to work together."
• • •
Join the discussion. To comment on stories and see what others are saying, log on to eagletribune.com.