Neighborhood on Alert

3/29/2008 Fresno The recent rash of crime has the people who live in the neighborhood on edge.

Thieves wiped out Melody Park resident Terry Dele's home earlier this year, taking clothes, electronics, and even furniture. "The first thing I noticed was the T.V. because we have the big flat screen on there. It was gone. And then I looked and the entertainment center, it was gone," said Dele.

Dele is now one of several residents on alert, after five more burglaries in the area this month.

Fresno police believe the suspects are juveniles who take whatever they can find. "It's stuff that would appeal to juveniles. There's games, video games, CD's, portable stereos, jewelry of course, and money that's lying around," said Sgt. Rich de Jong with the Fresno Police Department.

The method the suspects are using to get into the homes also leads police to believe they're young. "The points of entry are smaller than a guy my size would care to squeeze through," said de Jong.

The break-ins have people who live in the area paying closer attention to what is going on around them. Resident Edith Cunningham said, "It's to the point, that my children are saying, 'mom you gotta move.' But it's easier said than done. You can't just up and move."

Terry Dele recently had motion detector lights installed in front of his home. Another home now has new burglar bars.

Dele said he's no longer able to sleep without getting up to take a look outside. "It's a habit now that I get out here and look around and take a quick look around. It's just a habit now," Dele said.

Police said the burglaries are happening during the afternoon while people are working. They're asking people to make sure their windows and doors are locked and report any suspicious activity.

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