North Phoenix neighborhood plagued by thefts

Posted at 6:38 PM, Apr 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-19 21:55:39-04

After a string of thefts in a north Phoenix neighborhood, the victims aren't waiting for the answers to come to them.             

Neighbors in the area of North Cave Creek and Pinnacle Peak roads said they've caught people just walking around, checking to see whether cars are open, or casing the neighborhood. Now, they're fed up with the recent thefts.

For one woman, who did not want to be identified by name, the last straw was early Sunday morning, after her birthday presents were stolen from the trunk of her friend’s car. She said they only ran inside for about 10 minutes and that her gifts weren’t the only items missing from the car.

"They stole all of his work stuff, his laptop, his badge, his notebooks--everything out of there,” she said.

She posted on the Nextdoor app, which is a type of online neighborhood watch program. Neighbors responded with what their cameras caught.

"[A neighbor] saw someone, at about the same time that our stuff was stolen, coming up to his car. He had his shirt like this (covering his hand) and was testing the door handles,” she said.

A few months ago, she woke up to someone stealing her Christmas lights from her yard. She called police and helped identify the car.

"They didn't catch him, but they found what they were driving, and apparently that was also stolen from a neighborhood just north of here,” she said.

Phoenix police confirmed the woman filed police reports for those thefts.

Some neighbors said they're not surprised and that living in a nice neighborhood doesn't mean you can let your guard down.

"There's constantly people 'selling' stuff around our neighborhood, too, and I think they're just checking to see who is home during the day,” said Shannon Mankins, a neighbor.

Since then, neighbors said they've started an official neighborhood watch program to let thieves know that they’re also watching.