Chandler neighborhood concerned over recent vehicle break-ins

CHANDLER, AZ - Neighbors in one Valley community are banding together to not just crack down on crime, but hopefully stop it altogether. 

Some neighbors who live in the Hearthstone community near Chandler Boulevard and McClintock Drive told ABC15 there had been a handful of vehicle break-ins over the past week. 

"People are getting in our cars right now. My concern is they're going to start getting in our houses," said Tricia Kelley, a neighbor who is concerned.

She is now rounding up her neighbors to ensure a neighborhood watch is in place throughout the sprawling community of several hundred homes. Despite several signs indicating there's a neighborhood watch, some neighbors told ABC15 most of the community does not have one, or at least a well-organized one. 

"I've lived here for 12 years. I don't know of any actual, active neighborhood watch," said Brenda Maple, who also runs a community Facebook page. "I don't think it's been an active group for quite some time."

Chandler Police say setting up a neighborhood watch is easy, although there are some requirements, such as 50% participation and bi-annual meetings. You can find more information, here.

"The neighborhood watch group is as successful as the people in the neighborhood make it," said Chandler Police detective Seth Tyler.

"Do they participate? Do they report things?" he said.

Police also reiterated the importance of reporting crimes to authorities. For example, despite the concern about crime on the Hearthstone community Facebook page, police say they have just three reports of car break-ins in that neighborhood since the beginning of the year. 

"We need to know when a crime is being committed," Det. Tyler said. "The only way we can find out is for the community to report it to us."

Several neighbors who spoke with ABC15 on Wednesday said they are going to do whatever it takes to ensure they have an organized neighborhood watch. 

"I want everybody to take care of each other," Kelley said. 

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