North Peoria Residents Come Together to Fight Crime

By Gina Ford

July 15, 2010 Updated Jun 30, 2009 at 9:16 PM CST

These Sommer Place residents are on high alert after a string of unusual burglaries in their North Peoria subdivision. You'd normally see Sandy Gallant behind a news desk, but Tuesday night she discussed her bout with burglary.

"The garage door was open, it's not normally open and as soon as I walked up to my car, I realized that my car had been trashed inside and there were numerous items missing", said Gallant.

And she wasn't the only one. Residents say there were several cases of burglary in a 48-hour period last month.

"We've had break-ins to people's homes and people's cars and property", said Lucy Desrosiers, and Gallant said "large items taken in the middle of the day when people were out and about".

So Tuesday night, residents gathered with Peoria police and city officials to discuss how to stay safe in a neighborhood where safety was never an issue. Sommer Place residents have already started a neighborhood watch.

"We've talked about several different ideas, from stickers to go in the resident's cars so people are aware of who's who and who belongs", said Desrosiers.

Mike Scally, the Peoria police Department Captain of Investigations, said, "it's different for every neighborhood, sometimes things that may seem peculiar in my neighborhood may be perfectly normal in yours".

And for these Sommer Place residents, they say after an unsettling couple of days, they're making an effort to get to know their community.

Desrosiers said, "now when we walk after dinner at night, we make a point to try and introduce ourselves to people".

And Gallants said "it's about being a good neighbor, it's about being a good community member, and it's also about making sure crime doesn't happen in your back yard".

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