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Neighbors unite against crime spike

Published On: Dec 24 2013 08:47:19 AM CST
Updated On: Oct 03 2013 07:10:10 PM CDT

Neighbors unite against crime spike

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

A group of neighbors is taking a stand against crime.

They're creating a neighborhood watch through a website called nextdoor.com. Neighbors say it has the potential to make a big difference, but they need some help.

Shane Bush said things have changed for the better since he spoke with reporter Jamie Ostroff last week, right after his workshop and camper were broken into. Several other homes in his neighborhood were also burglarized.

"We're settled down, obviously, after the excitement of the evening, but still uneasy," Bush said. "Since your story broke, we've actually had a lot of contacts from people."

One of those people was Barbara Gregory, who lives down the street from Bush.

A self-described introvert, Gregory is coming out of her shell. She's been going door-to-door, delivering flyers for nextdoor.com.

"(I started) about the same time when the break-in happened over in Blue Camas, then shortly after I heard about Shane Bush and his wife," Gregory said. "I just felt like our neighborhood needed something like that to alert each other."

The website verifies the addresses of its members, allowing neighbors to create their own private social networks to alert each other of crime or anything suspicious.

"It'd just be nice to bring us together a little," Gregory said.

According to Gregory and Bush, the only problem is that 10 people from a neighborhood must sign up within three weeks in order to set up a network. Their neighborhood is still short of that number, but Bush is optimistic they'll reach it soon.

"I think it's our responsibility -- every bit as much as the police's responsibility -- to have a safe neighborhood," Bush said.

A spokeswoman for the Idaho Falls Police Department said although Bush and Gregory's neighborhood has seen a spike in crime, every neighborhood experiences these spikes from time to time. She said overall, this neighborhood is no more dangerous than others.

Officers are investigating the recent break-ins, and said they appreciate the help of neighborhood watches.

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