Dwayne Green, shown here with his dog, is helping organize the neighborhood watch group. (Photo by Rachel Cox)
KILLEEN (January 13, 2014) Residents of a Killeen neighborhood say they are fed up after a string of break-ins and thefts and now they're planning to do something about the local crime wave.
In the past three months there have been 11 home and business burglaries within a half-mile of the intersection of Levy Lane and Julie Jacqueline Drive in Killeen, according to online records.
Most of the break-ins have been residential, the records show.
Vandalism has also been a problem.
Someone recently started a fire inside a vacant house, a neighborhood resident said.
The residents say they are so sick of living in fear that they've banded together to form a neighborhood watch group.
One of the group's founders, Dwayne Green, said even though he has a pit bull as a guard dog and several signs warning off trespassers, nothing can take the place of his neighbors' watchful eyes.
His neighbor, Ruth Kinder, said after her home was broken into three weeks ago she and her husband have been sleeping with a handgun by the bed.
Kinder put up a "No Trespassing," sign in her front window and then wrote at the bottom her own message saying, "You will be shot."
Kinder said she's hoping the neighborhood watch group will be able to help in finding leads so police can make arrests.
The group will hold a neighborhood watch meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at 1613 Julie Jacqueline Dr.
Information from Killeen police will be handed out and residents will continue to compile a list of addresses and contact information for people who live in the neighborhood as the watch program is coordinated.
Residents said the goal is to create a list of neighbors who can take turns keeping watch.