Richmond Heights residents on edge over recent crimes

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RICHMOND HEIGHTS, MO (KPLR) - People in Richmond Heights are banding together to fight crime.  They met with police at The Heights Tuesday night and the meeting room was packed with folks worried about criminals and determined to do something about them.

Barbara Holt is a longtime resident. Holt said, "What can I do to protect myself and my property to keep my community safe."

People are concerned because of recent crimes. In October three men were seen breaking into 8 homes in broad daylight in one Richmond Heights neighborhood. Police haven't made any arrests but they do have suspects in mind.

On one street recently four men were taken in and several guns were found after police said they tried to burglarize a home.

Just days ago a 63-year-old woman was robbed at gunpoint on a supermarket parking lot, her money and her car were stolen.  Police said they understand why people are nervous but Detective Sgt. Gerry Rohr said, "They should still feel relatively safe because the historic numbers compared with what's going on today there's not a big change in that."

He said while one area has been hard hit, crime in the last 12 months in Richmond Heights is down 15 percent. Last quarter it dropped 23 percent.

Peggy Terrell is a neighborhood block captain.  Terrell said, "I have several elderly people in my neighborhood who are afraid to call (police) so they know they can call me and I will call."

That's a hurdle for cops; people don't call when they see something out-of-place, in some cases they don't want to bother police.

Linda Horrell lives in Richmond Heights, "Sometimes it's hard to read a situation, if it's something where the cops need to be called, occasionally there is a hesitation."

Detective Rohr said, "When you see something out of the ordinary the instinct should be to call the police."   He added, "It's our job to be bothered were not out there to read the newspaper all day in our cars."

If people don't call authorities, leads go cold and suspects get away to hurt someone else.

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