A crime warning for residents in a south Fort Worth neighborhood. Residents say they feel like prisoners in their own homes after a rash of break-ins. (Published Wednesday, May 7, 2014)
Residents in a small south Fort Worth neighborhood are hoping police will step up patrols in the wake of several home break-ins.
The burglaries have occurred just south of Sycamore School Road along Crowley Road, many in broad daylight.
On Wednesday morning, a moment of prayer was held by a group of seven residents in the neighborhood concerned about the increase in crime.
"We shouldn't feel like we have to put bars up and feel like prisoners in our own home, absolutely not," said Theresa Perez, who's spearheading neighborhood watch efforts.
All the residents NBC 5 spoke with said they had seen suspicious activity, doors kicked in or break-ins in progress.
Most homes have security systems, some have security cameras, but still, residents count as many as 10 incidents in the last six weeks and even several incidents in the last few days.
They feel it's getting worse as at least one person has been home when would-be thieves broke in.
"We don't know where the people are coming from," said Pastor Michael E. Williams of True Love Sanctuary, who lives in the neighborhood. "The one thing we do know, they're invading our homes. It's not safe for our children, it's not safe for our grandbabies."
There have been six residential burglaries in the area in just the last two weeks, according to The Fort Worth Police Department's online reports.
Residents worry it may take a tragedy for something to be done about it.
"Some of these suspects were possibly armed," Perez said. "It's terrifying, we shouldn't have to be armed in our own homes."
One resident said he and his wife had never owned a firearm until recently because of the break-ins. Several told NBC 5 that they feared they might end up shooting a 12-year-old who's broken in, but that they're prepared to defend themselves.
Perez said residents are becoming frustrated that Fort Worth police haven't done more, as they want to see more proactive policing of the area.
Perez does admit, though, that things are improving with the police response to the area.
"We want someone to come in and nip it in the bud, because we don't deserve that," Pastor Williams said.
Fort Worth Police says it's investigating the break-ins.
Residents said they'll continue to watch out for each other.
They're commuting regularly on the social networking site "NextDoor" to let neighbors know about suspicious activity and crimes.
Residents are also talking about working with "Citizens on Patrol" and other area groups to give the kids they fear are committing these crimes something better to do.
Published at 4:38 PM CST on May 7, 2014