As the weather turns nice the next few days, more people will be out, but not all of them have good intentions. There have been some problems with home and car break-ins near 104th Street north of West Maple Road. More than a dozen incidents in just the past week.
Police and neighbors are working together to reduce crime before it happens.
Elden Jonas doesn't get out much, a broken foot is the reason why. But he does know his neighborhood and neighbors. “We've had some crime in the neighborhood, but I don't think its as bad as some areas. I'll be working in the back yard and if I see a strange automobile acting kind of strangely going slow..."
Or unknown people walking around. “I ask myself, why are they here in the neighborhood and I kind of keep an eye out to see what they're doing. I didn't used to be as cautious as I am now.”
Omaha Police Capt. Shayna Ray is developing a program called Problem Oriented Policing. “Right now, a big issue is property crime. I’ve wanted the officers to get involved in solving problems that they see in the community. They're out there working every day and they see what the problems are in their district.”
Getting the community on board is a big help. Apartment complexes can be areas where there are higher incidents of crime just due to the fact that there are more people living in a smaller area. But police say more apartment complex managers are working with them to stop crime before it starts. Some apartments have added more lighting and security.
“So, it's been a great partnership,” said Capt. Ray. “I would encourage those apartments to be part of their neighborhood associations in their area.”
More homeowners have additional lighting and security systems and shut their garage doors. Jonas says neighborhood patrols and homeowners associations also help stop crime. “I think all of these things that we're doing helps a lot."
Police also encourage neighbors to call 911 when they do see something in their neighborhood that looks suspicious. Capt. Ray says it's also a good idea for businesses to team up with neighborhood groups in the area.