NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC - (WECT) - The Crestwood Estates community is holding their first neighborhood watch meeting on Wednesday night.
Organizer Robert Wiant says he's seen an increase of crime in the neighborhood over the years.
"A couple of years ago, every once in a while you might have a child's scooter stolen, now we have house and vehicle break ins," claimed Waint. Last month, deputies were even called to a home for a drug bust, which Wiant says is concerning. To many neighbors shock, when deputies got there they found more than 50 poisonous snakes in addition to the marijuana.
"It was a shock, we had never had anything like that happen in our neighborhood," said Kim Phipps, who lives next door to where the drugs and snakes were found.
"It blows my mind that something like this could happen so close," said Phipps.
"It's getting worse and it's not going to get better until we do something," said Wiant. He's been working on starting the program, and says after the drugs and snakes were found, more and more people are getting on board. He's hoping that having people come together and report crimes to police or to neighborhood watch leaders will help to bring the crime down.
"When bad actors understand that people are united and paying attention that's going to be a deterrent on it's own," explained Wiant. He says he wants to create a safe place where people feel comfortable speaking out.
Deputy Montjoy overseas the watch programs in the county, he's seen first hand how they work.
"Neighborhood watch programs bring crime down," explained Montjoy. He says after the groups second meeting they will get a sign for their neighborhood.
Wiant says he hopes to hold that meeting in October.
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322 Shipyard Boulevard