About 10 years ago I started a neighborhood watch here. Technically I'm the block captain, but we haven't done much since that day. But the main thing about it is to be organized and know who your neighbors are. I have a list of my neighbors with their phone numbers.
This past couple of weeks we have had two break-ins in this neighborhood. The first one took place while a couple was on a vacation in Europe. The second took place last night about 5 or 6 in the evening. In both cases, the thieves broke in through the front door. The first house they used a crow bar to break in, and the second they just kicked in the door. What shocks me about this is that both houses are exposed, and they ran a high risk of being seen. Both of these houses are on a corner. In between the two houses is a section 8 house with renters. I hate to automatically assume it is them, but they have a good view of these two houses, and would know if the people were gone. To me, this sounds like an "inside job". Someone not familiar with the neighborhood wouldn't know if those two families were gone. My gut tells me it is someone who lives here. The house in question has a bunch of teenage boys who sit out in their garage with the door up all day. The owner of the last house that got robbed said that often, when he leaves for work at 4:30 in the morning, those teenagers are up and sitting out in the open garage. Just seems suspicious to me.
Today I have been going around updating my neighborhood phone list. I'm going to pass out copies to everyone. I purposefully left out the houses that are rentals. I don't want a renter to move out and leave the list for who knows to find. And I'm not sure I trust either of the renters that we have on this street. I'm keeping my eyes open.