Local

Residents fighting crime with help

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Residents in one east Houston community are tired of crime and not only are they banding together to fight it, but police are about to join them.

We're talking about the Denver Harbor neighborhood near Market and Kress. That's just east of downtown.

For Mary Garcia, Denver Harbor is nothing like the neighborhood she knew 44 years ago when she moved here.

"It was nice and quiet a long time ago but now it's not," she told us.

Garcia, whose home has been broken into twice, says it's gone from peaceful to downright dangerous. Her friends, also longtime residents of the area, agree.

"I'm scared," said resident Connie Molina. "Anything can happen anywhere."

"My neighbors, we look out for each other," said resident Romelia Martinez.

Thieves are stealing in order to support their drug habits. Police say a recent increase in drug activity is fueling the crime.

We put our exclusive Crime Tracker to work in Denver Harbor and discovered violent crime was actually down nearly 18% through November. Murders and rapes were up slightly. Robberies and aggravated assaults were down. Keep in mind these numbers don't include what's residents say they've noticed here recently.

"Anybody with any kind of contraband or drugs, they are going to be arrested," said Precinct 6 Constable Victor Trevino. "We find out who is dealing now, they are going to be dealt with."

Constable Trevino has heard the concerns too. He's dedicating a special squad of officers. Meantime, HPD is set to launch its own crime initiative. Garcia and her friends are counting on this to help them take their neighborhood back.

"We need more police, more security around," Martinez said. "That's what we need."

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