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Orange Cove residents start neighborhood watch

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Neighbors are fighting back against criminals targeting homes in Orange Cove.

Residents are partnering with police after a series of break-ins. Over the past few months neighbors have seen break-ins happen way too close to their homes. Investigators say people are targeting homes up for sale.

People who live in Orange Cove are getting together to encourage community building. They are hoping that doing so will help them watch out for one another and also keep each other safe.

Several people attended their first neighborhood watch meeting; they are doing so after a series of home vandalisms have scared the community.

Police say they are seeing this problem in newer neighborhoods. Investigators say several suspects are targeting empty houses such as model homes and homes with for sale signs. Suspects are leaving behind drug paraphernalia inside the homes, and causing tens of thousands of dollars in damages.

"They kicked in doors randomly; left dents in the walls with graffiti on the walls with their nicknames, there were burn spots in the carpet. It was very ugly," said Claudia Moreno with Monte Vista Homes.

"They are gang members who are hooked on drugs and a person when they are hooked on drugs are not themselves. A person under the influence can act violent," said Santiago Jurado with the Orange Cove Police.

The police department has taken a hit with recent budget cuts. Police say the partnership between residents and police will benefit both the community and help bring in tips of break-ins that are in progress.

If you are at home and you see anything suspicious next door or in your neighborhood you are asked to call police.

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orange cove, local, mariana jacob
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