Geist neighborhood group hosts first town hall following increased crime

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 21, 2015)-- Neighbors in Geist are fighting back after a recent rise in crime in the area--including car and home break-ins. They had a chance to voice their concerns with Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) North District, Lawrence Police and Geist Patrol.

"Let the people hear the issues that are going on around them. I think we all live in a bubble sometimes and I think if they understand the obstacles and challenges our police departments are going through," said Geist Harbors President Tom Britt.

Many people who live in Geist were unaware that one of the cities six target areas is right in their backyard. Areas plagued with hunger, joblessness, drug addiction and crime. This meeting was planned after neighbors used the Nextdoor app to help police catch a burglary suspect a couple of weeks ago.

"So people are committing crimes and coming up here and dumping cars or they're coming up here to commit the crime or to get the drugs, get the fix then going back," said Britt.

While city leaders work to address those issues in the six hot zips they want other people to realize their responsibility to help law enforcement.

"You don't see change in the community until you see engagement from the people that live in those communities. They have to live there day in and day out and if they want to stand with the police we're going to stand with them," said IMPD North District Commander Chris Bailey.

People in the area say the increase in crime has rattled many of their neighbors, but they're willing to do what it takes to bring a stop to it.

"And just seeing people looking suspicious. Maybe they had something up their sleeve and then other people in the neighborhood just walking outside trying to keep an eye on things and scare them off. So it takes a neighborhood," said neighbor Toni Keegan.

Police recommend not leaving car doors unlocked under any circumstances, make sure garage doors are closed, and watch out for solicitors who try to make their way inside your home.