Neighbors Fight Back Against Crime

CHARLOTTE, NC — It’s a war criminals are forcing on families living in east Charlotte’s Plaza community.

“Always something going on,” said Plaza resident Lisa Riley. “There’s gunshots, there’s people shooting.”

Residents strategizing how to protect their homes.

“We have children here who have to walk up to the stop, that have to play,” said Riley. “It’s dangerous; it’s scary. And things are happening in broad daylight.”

Riley is part of Heron’s Pond Neighborhood Watch. The Homeowners Association met to make a plan last month when intruders shot Sementha Bunce a mile away while she was feeding her four-month-old son on Matlea Court.

“We had CMPD there to tell us the crime rate and the calls they’ve gotten from the neighborhood,” said Riley.

I researched the crimes CMPD documents in a two-mile radius around the neighborhood. In June there were 265 crimes reported. By October, the number fell to 241. This past month, it was down to 237.

Heron’s Pond got serious about the watch program.

“I can’t say that I feel safer,” said east Charlotte resident Jeff Melgar.

Jeff Melgar lives across from the mother shot in her home. She hasn’t returned since.

“You don’t sleep the same after something like that happens,” he said.

He tells me police patrol, but he wishes his neighborhood watch would come together like Heron’s Pond.

“It’s communication with your next-door neighbor. If there’s something that you see, don’t turn a blind eye. If it’s not them, it could be you,” said Riley.

She’s not ready to let her kids play outside alone, but the neighborhood is working to restore that.

Police arrested a suspect in the home invasion involving that new mom. She’s out of the hospital.