Vandalism and trespassing are such common crimes that many might consider them just a nuisance to deal with. However, involving the police and neighbors can offer solutions to alleviate these problems.
Tami Davis, a St. Joseph resident, said she believed many of those incidents were of teenagers doing something they found funny.
“It’s a little disheartening when you get up in the morning and your car windows are smashed,” Davis said. “And, you know, you lose work because you have to fix it. You can’t just chase it away. We punctured tires.
Davis said she wasn’t the only one.
“People in the neighborhood have had windows broken in their homes and it’s an expense,” she said.
Davis said she reported the incidents to the police.
sergeant. Roy Hoskins, who works in crime prevention for the St. Joseph Police Department, said it’s one of the most helpful things a person can do, no matter how bad the damage.
“Every little piece of information is like a puzzle piece. (Neighbors) may think it’s insignificant, but maybe it’s the piece we can add to another part of the investigation to solve the crime,” Hoskins said. “Sometimes people have to call more than once for, you know, various things in the neighborhood. We will always treat each individually, but the more we know, the more we will know about a particular issue.
Davis also discussed solutions with neighbors going through the same thing.
One option is a neighborhood watch group, which Hoskins is tasked with assisting. He said the police were helping organize meetings and teaching people what to do, but they needed someone in the neighborhood to bring the group together.
“We’re going to kind of come up with a plan of how we want to go from there, give the neighborhood some resources and maybe see if they want to start meeting regularly, if they want something more organized. with officers and things like that or if they just want something looser,” Hoskins said. “But someone really has to step in.”
Davis has said in the past that she has volunteered for a juvenile diversion program. It’s worked with teens who break the law but may not understand the damage they’re causing in a community. She said she understands some of the damage was not intentionally criminal, but possibly teenage boredom and a lack of connection in the neighborhood.
“I remember when everyone knew everyone in their neighborhood and everyone was watching everyone, and now it seems like everyone comes in, closes the doors and locks themselves,” he said. she declared. “I hope people will realize that we need to reach out, we need to be careful of each other and help take care of each other’s business.”
Those interested in starting a neighborhood watch group can contact the St. Joseph Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit at 816-236-1473.