Thursday, January 31, 2008

New crime hot spot: Brier Creek?

We've discussed in recent months the rise of suburban crime, gangs and decay. It would be a bit premature to say that this is definitely happening in Raleigh's Brier Creek, even if there have been a substantial number of burglaries in recent weeks, not to mention the report of gunshots.

Still, residents are worried. And they "fear the situation will get worse if something is not done now," says WRAL-TV.

The most recent incident was gunshots outside Bruce Matthews' home early Sunday morning. Police are still investigating.

"It was very alarming," Matthews said. "Very alarming, and something needs to be done."

The crimes have been mostly petty, said Kathi Hunter, Brier Creek's community watch committee chairwoman, but she said she fears they could get worse. Police confirm more than 30 break-ins as well as thefts from open garages, but until the weekend, none had involved violence.

"It's escalating, and it's escalating to a point where eventually something bad's going to happen," Hunter said. "It's hitting our neighborhood extremely hard, and it has to stop."

Here's some advice: Keep your garages closed.

The Brier Creek/Leesville Road area, in my opinion, seems actually ripe for crime activity, unfortunately, particularly of the petty kind. There are multiple "getaway" options for would-be burglars, and there's been such a massive influx of people to the area that there is probably not much of a neighborhood/community feel (yet), and since there's no "there" there, people may not (yet) have a sense of loyalty and thus responsibility to the area. I'm sure that will change over time.

It's good that folks like Hunter are trying to nip this in the bud early on.


Leo said...

I agree, close your garage, lock your doors, hide the "good stuff" away. Common sense here.

Trankin said...

I guess I wouldn't have pictured Brier Creek has a hotspot for crime, it just seems very, young single and family oriented, but I understand what they are saying. I hope things don't get worse.

RaleighRob said...

Excuse me while I dig out my tiny violin.
So....poorer, older neighborhoods of Raleigh (and every other major city in the world) have been dealing with this stuff forever but no big story there.

A neighborhood full of wealthy upscale folks, in pretty shiny new McMansions, gets some crime, and now the news media gets all over it like it's the worst thing to happen to Raleigh?

Yeah, crime sucks for sure. But I'm not gonna feel any more sympathy for the Brier Creek crowd than I do for someone stuck in the projects. Crime is a bad thing for all of us.

If any good can come out of this, it will be that these folks out in ultra-upscale places like Brier Creek, Wakefield, Preston, etc, will finally realize they can't hide in seclusion (& exclusion) on the ritzy fringes forever....and that being involved in the overall region's well-being is in their interest, too. (I can hope.)

M. Lail said...

Rob, totally agree. Unfortunately, the good folks of BR may not be getting that message. Check out this from's story on the meeting:

"Residents who attended the community meeting said the debate got heated. Several crime-fighting ideas proposals included hiring security guards, (EMPHASIS!!!)becoming a gated community(/EMPHASIS!!) and installing security cameras.

"A representative of the Raleigh Police Department ... said most of the incidents were crimes of opportunity that simple actions, such as locking doors, could prevent."


Andrea said...

Seriously having a hard time coming up with anything of value to say that isn't completely shrouded in sarcasm.

So yeah, i'll just add my violin to the orchestra.

wayne sutton said...

Hello I'm trying to get in contact with one of you for a meetup about Raleigh and Raleigh blogs, can you email me at waynesutton at gmail dot com?


Anonymous said...

Sorry, but everyone has a right to be able to live in peace and harmony. One of the reasons people move to the area is for what they thought was a sense of safety. Because they have big homes so they shouldn't cry out for help when shots are fired in their neighborhood? I am sorry you should be ashamed of yourselves for thinking any different. If you are in areas other than Brier Creek and have experienced similar situations then it is up to you to scream and shout as well. We all should be able to live in a world where we can leave our doors unlocked and we should continue to fight for it to be a reality. Common sense is correct, but I don't think you realize just how many crimes have been committed in that neighborhood in a 4 month period, over 40 of them and shots fired! That is unacceptable anywhere. And by the way, the media reported on it because so many residents called them to get help from the city. The police basically told them to hire private cops. NICE RESPONSE if you ask me, I would be screaming too. Good for Brier Creek residents to stand up for themselves instead of continuing to be victims.

Anonymous said...

With the current inability to sell homes in Brier Creek and prices falling dramatically, I don't know why the residents would want to call attention to a "Crime Wave" problem. Couple this with the planned strip club to open up soon, and this neighborhood is losing its appeal rather quickly. Not the "Family Oriented Community" most would prefer to own a home in. My guess is property values will probably only continue to decline.

1/11/08 "Raleigh officials gave the go-ahead Wednesday to build a new strip club called "The Runway" at Mount Herman and Lumley roads near the airport. It would be located just one mile from the upscale Brier Creek development."

M. Lail said...

Anonymous ^^: I agree with your point that we should all have the right to live in peace and harmony, and I wish we were still in a world where you could leave your doors unlocked and your garage doors open. Alas, we are not.

I think the problem people have with this whole situation is that there are other parts of the city where residents have been screaming about crime for years, and the perception is that little has been done. If all of a sudden an area like BC -- made up of folks who (rightly or wrongly) are perceived as people who are trying to gate themselves -- were to get help with a so-called "crime problem," then it would leave a very bad taste in their mouths. To me, 40 crimes in a 4-month period doesn't seem that bad (but I do live near the "ghetto," I guess).

Should residents take a stand? Absolutely. More power to them. But that doesn't mean that the rest of us won't snicker or shake our heads a little.

Anonymous said...

My wife recently had a friend who caught someone in her home dressed like a UPS man!! When she asked if she could help him, he said he was there to pick up a package...then he quickly left and there was no UPS truck outside her home...wierd?? be careful out there, PS-

I work for a company called ADT Security Services. I am a security professional and I can certainly help anyone design a security system to protect their small business or home. If you are interested feel free to give me a call at my office 919.388.5467