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Watch Out
Shirley King | Avenida Primavera




Photo panorama Art Olson

The North Hills area of Avenida Primavera, Forest Way, Upper Serpentine, Zuni and mid 15h Street has an actively cohesive Neighborhood Watch program – 42 residences and growing. Originally spearheaded and diligently managed by Dorothy and Chuck Newton, the new captains, Shirley King and Art Olson, are carrying on the tasks of updating the neighborhood map and directory and sending out notifications primarily by e-mail when there is any criminal activity observed or reported in this area and within a one-mile radius through Crime Alerts with the San Diego Sheriff’s Dept. Crime Mapping service (www.sdsheriff.net).

This summer significant property crime has been perpetrated on several residences. In response to a home break-in and robbery in June, this Watch group met at the home of Carol and David Goodell for a Sunday brunch attracting a large crowd that included many new neighbors along with long-timers who shared their methods for crime deterrence and empty-house vigilance. One unanswered question for the group is whether there is any correlation with increased crime in the neighborhood during the San Diego County Fair. Neighbors agreed that being nosy has its place when suspicious behavior is unfolding.

Crime prevention tips recommended by this Watch group are:

• Inform immediate neighbors of vacations or absences from the house.
• Remove mailers, papers or flyers from the driveway of an absent neighbor.
• Request Vacation Check with the Sheriff’s Senior Volunteer Patrol (Vacation Check forms are available at www.sdsheriff.net)
• Do not allow door-to-door solicitors in the house (not even to use the bathroom).
• Ask for ID of anyone representing a utility company.
• Use timed lights and music when out of the house.
• Turn down the volume of answering machine greeting and message.
• Install broad-range motion detector lights and security camera (economical options are available).
• Take note of excessive dog barking. It may be a sign of an intruder.
• Lock doors, windows and pet doors at night and when out of the house.
• Secure ladders and tools so they can’t be used to gain entrance.
• Don’t hesitate to report suspicious activity to the Sheriff’s non-emergency line (858) 565-5200.

Unlike the characters in the summer movie comedy ‘The Watch,’ the North Hills Watch group is not looking for extraterrestrial creatures or being led astray by paranoia but rather building a neighborly loyalty with trust and communication for a greater security.


 

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