Burglaries force one neighborhood to take action - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Burglaries force one neighborhood to take action


A string of burglaries caused one Stevens Point neighborhood to take matters into its own hands.

Eileen Rozumialski moved into her home inside Park Ridge 6 years ago.

Rozumialski says she chose the city of Stevens Point for one reason.

"I wanted to move into an area where I would feel more secure," said Rozumialski.

Shortly after the move Rozumialski's neighborhood started seeing problems.

"We had three very serious burglaries, in Park Ridge, all in a very short period of time," said Patricia Baker, Park Ridge Board of Trustees.

Baker knew the burglaries were making residents uneasy.

"You didn't know if your house was going to be next," said Kathy Schwarz, Park Ridge Resident.

According to a report released by the FBI, home burglaries rise 10 percent during the summer months.

Park Ridge residents began talking about the burglaries and knew something had to be done.

"Another neighbor came to me and said we should put together a neighborhood watch program," said Baker.

A few weeks later the neighborhood watch started.

The initiative has grown ever since, with the help of the Portage County Sheriffs Department.

"Anybody who comes to the front of the house or the back of the house is going to see the signs in our windows," said Rozumialski.

90 households in the Park Ridge neighborhood with 500 people participate in the watch.

Authorities report that here hasn't been a single burglary since the program started.

"I'm just very, very happy with the success of the Park Ridge neighborhood watch program," said Sgt. Mike Lukas, Portage County Sheriffs Department.

Authorities tell Newsline 9 that this is a great example of how neighbors can come together, to take action.

There are some things you can do as well, to protect your home.

The Portage County Sheriff's Department recommends taking a few precautions, especially if you're going to be out of town this summer.

Officials suggest making it look as if you're still home by keeping your yard well maintained, putting lights on timers, and placing a hold on your mail and newspapers so they don't stack up.

Authorities also say that you should have neighbors check in regularly when your gone, and they really

stress being careful about what you post on social media websites.

Thieves look on sites like Facebook and Twitter for people going on vacation.

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