FRESNO, Calif. - Neighbors in Northwest Fresno are banding together to fight crime. A few dozen people gathered at Koligian Park Monday to talk about recent break-ins and panhandling.
"I don't feel comfortable in my own home," said neighbor Megan Christison. Christison is a stay at home mom, but feels uneasy most days. "Having to hide things in my own backyard because I'm afraid that our bikes are going to turn up missing, or my kids playset," said Christison.
On Nextdoor, she sees the gamut near Herndon and Milburn from an increase in homelessness and neighbors getting broken into.
"Seeing what's happening to them and being really scared that I could be next," said Christison.
So, she and dozens of other neighbors gathered Monday at Koligian Park to talk about the issues. Fresno Police Captain Burke Farrah also attended and asked residents to continue calling in crime reports.
"It helps me determine if there's a pattern of crime in your neighborhood," said Captain Farrah.
Captain Farrah said neighbors have been concerned with Montu Brown who was arrested about a week ago for allegedly breaking into a home. "We were able to catch him red-handed, with the stolen property and also video of him committing burglary in the first place," said Farrah.
Captain Farrah said officers offer the homeless food, shelter and clothing and warn them about the new city ordinance going into effect this month which bans camping in the city of Fresno.
But Farrah said the homeless don't seem to care.
"So, right after we offer them services, we say, 'Hey look, you're not going to be allowed to camp here anymore, you're going to have to move on,'" said Farrah. "They've already told us they don't want to be hassled, stopped or talked to. They don't want to have the conversation with our officers."
It's a problem that may not go away anytime soon, but at least residents have peace of mind.
"I feel great about our neighborhood that we came together and made this happen," said Capt. Farrah.