Several from North Raleigh neighborhood meet with police after car break-ins

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Raleigh neighbors concerned about crime met with police tonight to discuss ways to keep their neighborhoods safe.

Neighbors in the Gresham Trace and Thorpshire Farm neighborhoods came out to hear from police.

Over the past several months they say people have gone through their neighborhoods trying to break into cars.

It’s a mistake many of us make.

“One time leaving the car unlocked is all it took, and unfortunately, that was us this time,” said Sandy Veno.  

That night, she says someone broke into her car and stole a pair of shoes. She wasn’t the only one.

In about the past four months, police say there have been 45 car break-ins in about a 2.5 mile radius surrounding the Gresham Trace and Thorpshire Farm neighborhoods.

In 88 percent of those cases,  police say the vehicles were unlocked.

“They took a wallet and they go in there and just kind of throw things around find anything — change, money whatever they can find,” said Debbie Drew who organized the meeting.

Jim Morrison, the president of the Thorpshire Farm Home Owners Association, says he caught someone in the act several months ago.

“In the middle of the night, we had a crew come in the car, drop somebody off  in a driveway and that person’s job was to go around unlocking or to see if doors are open. Luckily, seeing that occur, I called the city police,” he recalled. 

Police say the best way to deter thieves to get into cars or homes — besides locking doors — is keeping the area well lit.

It’s also important to communicate with neighbors.

Joanna Hill, a self-described nosy neighbor, says she’s always on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary. 

“Knowing everybody in the neighborhood, knowing who does live there, knowing all the cars that come in and out of there it makes it a lot easier,” she said.

Police say neighbors like that help them out by recognizing anything suspicious and stopping crime before it happens. 

Police urge people to call with any kind of suspicious activity even if it’s just an unfamiliar car driving slowly around the neighborhood.

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