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INDIANAPOLIS – In the wake several home invasions in Indianapolis, dispatchers at the Marion County 911 call center report an uptick in calls from concerned residents about suspicious activity in their neighborhoods.

“We’ve seen an increase with the recent activity,” said Carolea Walters, director of the call center. “We’ll have a lot of calls on suspicious type vehicles. People that don’t fit in the neighborhood.”

In one call, a woman told a dispatcher she thinks she’s heard a popping noise that sounds like gunshots outside her home and decided to report it.

“I don’t even know if it’s anything,” she told the dispatcher. “We just had a neighborhood meeting and they told us just to call if we hear anything.”

Being alert and reporting strange behavior is exactly what the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office is trying to teach residents to do. It offers free crime prevention presentation year round and held one Thursday evening at the Northside Knights of Columbus on E. 71st St.

Deputy prosecutor Daphne Whitmire showed homeowners simple ways to make their homes less attractive to criminals.

“I think with recent events it kind of wakes you up to say, you know, really crime does happen anywhere,” she said.

Some Fox 59 viewers have asked what to do if they’re not sure what they’re witnessing is really a big deal? Walters said, big or small, neighbors should always call.

“They are the eyes and ears for us and the officers on the street and they can provide a lot of helpful information,” she insisted. “So absolutely, if you’re concerned about something we want you to call. We welcome your call.”

The next crime prevention meeting put on by the prosecutor’s office will happen on Tuesday, Nov. 12 from 4-5:30 p.m. at Pleasant View Lutheran Church on 801 W. 73rd Street.