Some community groups are turning to online crime-tracking tools or creating neighborhood watch groups on the Internet that give them instant access to crimes reported in their neighborhoods and suspicious activity, says the Sacramento Bee. Susanne Burns of Carmichael, Ca., took action after her home was burglarized last May while her family slept.
Burns set up a Neighborhood Watch group of homes in her gated community. “We started emailing and this list grew basically out of control,” she said. “It started with me emailing the 22 homes in our little community. It just mushroomed, and I think that’s when it hit me.” Now she has created the Carmichael Watchgroup, a Facebook page with 342 members that notifies residents of community meetings with the Sheriff’s Department, crime-tracking website, and criminal reports. News about stolen bikes, garage break-ins and other crimes are posted regularly. At Christmas, video from one home’s security cameras was posted showing a burglar breaking into a house and leaving on a bicycle with stolen property.