Residents work together to stop crime in their community

Northwest Knoxville residents work together to stop crime in their community

Posted:
The neighborhood watch group in Cumberland Estates in Northwest Knoxville worked together to help solve a string of burglaries. The neighborhood watch group in Cumberland Estates in Northwest Knoxville worked together to help solve a string of burglaries.
From October 2013 through January 2014, 10 sheds and garages in Cumberland Estates were broken into and a home was burglarized. From October 2013 through January 2014, 10 sheds and garages in Cumberland Estates were broken into and a home was burglarized.
The neighborhood watch group meets quarterly, with a Knoxville police officer in attendance. The neighborhood watch group meets quarterly, with a Knoxville police officer in attendance.
Bradley Foust (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Bradley Foust (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)
Paul McCarter (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Paul McCarter (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Northwest Knoxville community was hit hard in December with a string of criminal activity. To stop the thefts and burglaries, the community members worked together, eventually gathering enough information to help police make an arrest.

Marilyn Trabold moved to the Cumberland Estates community in Northwest Knoxville six months ago.

"It is absolutely lovely. I drive down the street sometimes and think I can't believe I live here. It's so nice," said Trabold.

A few months after moving in, someone broke into her garage.

"They took tools, mainly the air compressor and tools from the garage," said Trabold.

She is not alone. From October 2013 through January 2014, 10 sheds and garages in Cumberland Estates were broken into and a home was burglarized. This is up from one theft during the same timeframe the year before.

"It's disturbing to know somebody would do that. You do feel violated. This is my property. It's my stuff. Leave it alone," said Trabold.

The neighborhood watch group stepped in to try and gather information on the criminal activity. Coordinator Connie Hughes helped form the neighborhood watch group in the Cumberland Estates community 10 years ago.

"We just live in a great neighborhood and we wanted it to continue," said Hughes.

There are 350 homes in the neighborhood. Signs are posted around the community to make visitors aware they are being watched. There are several volunteer captains keeping an eye on the homes in their section of the neighborhood.

"Familiarize herself or himself with what is normal for every home so whenever we see something abnormal we will contact the appropriate party," said Hughes.

The group meets quarterly, with a Knoxville police officer in attendance.

"We have a heavy presence with community groups and neighborhood watch groups throughout the city, and we get feedback from the residents who actually live in the community," said KPD Sgt. Kelly Tanner with the Safety Education Unit.

When Cumberland Estates had a string of criminal activity, the neighborhood watch was vigilant, taking photos and video, and collecting enough information which eventually enabled police to make an arrest.

"Residents there were able to get a good vehicle description of the suspect that was given to the liaison officer, who in turn passed it to patrol, and subsequently there was a traffic stop and an arrest made out of that," said Sgt. Tanner.

Two men, Bradley Foust and Paul McCarter, were arrested in January in connection with the thefts. Since the arrests, there have been no other reported incidents in Cumberland Estates. Sgt. Tanner says community and neighborhood watch groups are a success.

"The information gleaned from neighborhood watch groups has helped us solve a plethora of criminal activity," said Sgt. Tanner.

Marilyn Trabold says having a neighborhood watch group makes her feel safer in the community.

"Not long after I moved here we had a neighborhood watch meeting and police men were there and a state senator was there and it was like these people really care about what's going on here and it made me feel very good about where I had moved," said Trabold.

Sgt. Tanner says the key to a successful neighborhood watch group is knowing your neighbors. If you know what the norm is you will be able to identify unusual activity.

If you are interested in forming a neighborhood watch group in your community, contact KPD's Safety Education Unit at (865) 215-1510. If you do not live in Knoxville contact your local authorities.

Sgt. Tanner says about 50 percent of the communities in Knoxville already participate in a neighborhood watch.

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