Victims Of Car Break-ins Get Creative In Deterring Future Crime

Victims Of Car Break-ins Get Creative In Deterring Future Crime

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PHILADELPHIA -

People in Philadelphia's Roxborough neighborhood are fed up after a rash of car break-ins. So they're banding together, and getting creative, to fight crime before it happens.

"I felt a little violated because there was no sign of entry and I know the car was locked."

Melanie Wescott's car was targeted in a recent rash of Roxborough break-ins just last week.

The thief may have stolen $300 worth of clothes from her car, but not her sense of humor.

"We all had big vigilante ideas of setting up a sting operation," says Westcott.

Wescott didn't become a capped crusader, but she took to her computer on a crusade, sending an e-mail out to alert her neighbors to the crime spree on the 500 block of Seville.

Now she and other victims like Marianna Dolan are teaming up.

They urge neighbors not to leave change and other valuables in plain view. They're also part of a growing group of residents on the street who've also vowed to leave their porch lights on.

"Everyone keeping in touch, leaving porch lights on, emailing. Kind of looking out for each other," says Marianna Dolan.

Ryan Gibbons is also taking extra precautions so he doesn't become a victim. He's trying to get neighbors to follow his lead.

The Seville Street resident leaves his empty center console and glove box wide open.

"If anyone is walking by, they'll look in and see nothing for them to steal," Ryan Gibbons.

"We welcome that. We welcome anything the community is going to do to make it harder for local thieves to make them victims," says Captain John Cerron of the Philadelphia Police.

"Were keeping the cars completely empty and locked and hopefully they'll find there's less to take and [less] reason to come here," says Westcott.

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