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Crime Watch Team Ramps It Up in Briarwood

A group of 50 people patrol streets in a Little Rock neighborhood trying to prevent crime.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Folks in one local neighborhood are taking their crime watch duties to a whole new level.

We're talking about the Briarwood neighborhood, which is near Midtown.

A group of about 50 people take to the streets -- all hours of the day -- working to stop crime before it starts.

You can't miss Noel Hall's vehicle, as part of the patrol.

He said, "It really does look like a miniature tank when it rolls by."

It's complete with a flashing mounted light.

Hall said, "The more visible we are, the more people go 'I don't want to mess with that neighborhood.'"

Inside Hall's vehicle, there are cameras to catch crime as he patrols the streets of Briarwood looking for anything out of the ordinary.

There are also foot patrols.

Folks wear bright yellow vests to purposely stick out.

Rex Easter, with the Briarwood Neighborhood Association, said, "They're going to go where people aren't watching."

So people on patrol are taking a proactive approach to crime, but just in case something happens, they bring a cell phone so they can call 911.

The "crime trackers" also pass out business cards to people living in the neighborhood so they too can be a part of the crime watch.

With around 850 homes in the area, there are plenty of streets to search.

Easter said, "It's not being nosy, it's being observant."

This group really focuses on spots hit by crime.

Every month they get a detailed police report showing when and where things like burglaries and theft happen.

Then, the team saturates those areas.

Since patrols started -- about two years ago -- crime dropped dramatically.

In some cases up to 90 percent.

Hall said, "The numbers are really low."

According to the Briarwood Crime Watch team, one of the most popular times for crime -- specifically burglaries -- is Wednesday's between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

It's a time when most people are at work.

If you would like to follow Melissa Schroeder's reports on Facebook, you can click here and like her page.
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