Walden Oaks Homeowners’ Association

Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch Program

The Neighborhood Watch Program needs additional volunteers

Please call your Board Member to volunteer a hour of your time per week


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The Neighborhood Watch Program at Walden Oaks was founded by John Spriggs and now is managed by David Pezzullo.  We need Watchers!   If you have an interest in helping out, please call David Pezzullo.  We need your help in making sure Walden Oaks is the community you want it to be.



Goals of Neighborhood Watch

The Main Objective of Neighborhood Watch is to reduce the incidence of crime by:


·        Increasing citizens' awareness of burglary and other neighborhood crime through a continuing information program.


·        Training citizens in the means of better property security and assist them in making their property more secure, by enlisting each home/apartment business in Operation Identification.



·        Developing a neighborhood action program where neighbors help watch each other's property and report suspicious persons and activities to law enforcement agencies. (Neighborhood Watch


·        Encouraging all citizens to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in reporting crime.



Duties and Responsibilities

1. Neighborhood Coordinator


·        Coordinates activities of Block Captains and Block Watchers participating in program.


·        Recruits neighborhood residents into the program.


·        Acts as a liaison with the police or sheriff's department and disseminates information communicated to them which may lead to the solution of a crime.


2. Block Captain


·        Hosts a Neighborhood Watch meeting.


·        Personally visits each home/apartment/business in his/her block, announcing the meeting and encouraging neighbors to participate.


·        Acts as a base station for Operation Identification. In this manner, neighbors can pick up Operation Identification materials from their Block Captain in order to participate in the program. The goal of 100% participation is essential in order to achieve the program objectives. The Block Captain is encouraged to personally contact those neighbors who have not participated in the program.


·        Acts as a liaison with the law enforcement department and disseminates any information communicated to them which may lead to the solution of a crime.


·        Distributes Crime Prevention materials to those residents who were unable to attend meetings.


·        Cooperates and assists Neighborhood Coordinator.


3. Block Watcher


·        Acts as eyes and ears for their neighbors and reports any suspicious activity.


·        Studies crime prevention materials furnished to them.


·        Checks neighbors' homes when they are out-of-town.


·        Cooperates and assists the Block Captain.


·        Participates in Operation Identification.



What is Suspicious?

The effectiveness of a law enforcement department's crime prevention efforts is enhanced by active participation on the part of citizens. By calling to report suspicious persons or activity, you not only aid the police or sheriff you make your community a safer place to live.

Some people fail to call simply because they are not aware of activities that might be suspicious. Others may notice suspicious activity and hesitate to call for fear of being labeled a "nosy neighbor" or a "crank." Still others take it for granted that someone else has already called.

Call 911 or your local law enforcement department Immediately when you observe suspicious activity. Do Not worry about "bothering" them. Do not worry about being embarrassed if your suspicions prove unfounded. Think instead about what could happen if you do not act.

Information Most Often Needed

What happened? When did it happen? Where did it happen? Was anyone hurt?

Description of Persons: (Include clothing). When describing suspects, notice age, race, sex, height and weight. Compare your own weight and height with the suspects. Pick out some unique characteristics (scars, nose, jewelry, etc.) that will help you identify the suspect in the future if need be.

Description of Vehicle: License number, make, model, color, any noticeable damage and direction of travel.

REMEMBER: For Police Assistance Dial 911 or the law enforcement department in your area.




Obvious Things to Watch For

Basically, anything that seems even slightly "out of place" or is occurring at an unusual time of day or night, could be criminal activity. Some of the most obvious activities to watch for and report include:

A stranger entering your neighbor's house when it is unoccupied, may be a burglar

A scream heard anywhere may mean robbery or assault.

Offers of merchandise at ridiculously low prices could mean stolen property.

Anyone removing accessories, license plates or gas from a car should be reported.

Anyone peering into parked cars may be looking for a car to steal or for valuables left displayed in the car.

Persons entering or leaving a business place after hours could mean burglars.

A sound of breaking glass or loud explosive noises could mean an accident, burglary, or vandalism.

Persons loitering around schools, parks and secluded areas could be sex offenders.

Persons loitering in the neighborhood who do not live there could be burglars.

Anyone forcing entrance to, or tampering with a residence, business or vehicle should be reported.



Some Not So Obvious Things to Watch For

Not every stranger who comes into your neighborhood is a criminal by any means. There are many perfectly legitimate door-to-door salesmen, repairmen, and servicemen moving around our neighborhoods all the time. But criminals do take advantage of this by assuming the guise of legitimate business representatives. After all, if a criminal looked like a criminal, no one would have any trouble spotting him.

Check identification of all solicitors, meter readers, and repairmen prior to allowing entry into your home. Be suspicious of an alleged deliveryman with a wrong address or asking if someone else lives there. Some of the not so obvious things to watch for are:

Someone Going Door-to-Door In Your Neighborhood:
Watch for awhile. If, after a few houses are visited, one or more of the persons tries a door to see if it is locked, looks into windows or goes into a back or side yard, it could be a burglar. Such action is even more suspicious if one person remains in the front when this occurs or if there is a car following a few houses away. Call your local law enforcement department or 911 immediately; do not wait for the person to leave.

One or More Juveniles Walking Casually Through The Neighborhood Looking into Automobiles, Backyards, Etc.

A Person Running, Especially if Carrying Something of Value

Someone Carrying Property:
If it's at an unusual hour, or in an unusual place, or if the property is not wrapped as if just purchased.

A Person Exhibiting Unusual Mental or Physical Symptoms:
May be injured, under the influence of drugs or otherwise needing medical or psychiatric assistance.

Human Traffic to And From a Certain Residence:
Is not suspicious unless it occurs on a daily or very regular basis; especially during late or unusual hours. It could possibly be the scene of vice activities or a fence operation.

Any Person Taking a Shortcut Through a Backyard:
May have just broken into your neighbor's home.

Any Vehicle Moving Slowly And Without Lights or Following a Course That Appears Aimless or Repetitive in Any Location:
But particularly so in areas of schools, parks and playgrounds. Occupants may be looking for places to rob or burglarize, or they could be drug pushers or sex offenders.

Parked, Occupied Vehicles Containing One or More Persons:
If it is an unusual hour they could be lookouts for a burglary in progress, even if the occupants appear to be legitimate.

Vehicles Being Loaded With Valuables if Parked in Front of a Closed Business:
Or unattended residence-even if the vehicle is a legitimate looking commercial vehicle. More and more professional thieves are taking the time and trouble to customize their vehicles with special signs in order to move more freely without suspicion.

Apparent Business Transactions Conducted From a Vehicle:
Especially around schools or parks. If juveniles are involved, it could mean a possible drug sale.

Persons Being Forced Into Vehicles:
Especially if juveniles or females, may mean a kidnapping.

An Abandoned Vehicle Parked On Your Block:
May be a stolen car.

Continuous Repair Operations at Non-Business Locations:
Could mean stolen property is being stripped, repainted or otherwise altered.

Open or Broken Doors or Windows at a Closed Business or Residence:
If owners are absent, could mean a burglary in progress or already completed.

A Beam From a Flashlight in a Neighbor's Home:
Especially if they are away.

Persons Wearing or Carrying Bloody Clothing:
Could be a suspect or victim of a serious crime.

Persons Making a Quick Change of Vehicles:
May be attempting to elude the police or abandoning a stolen vehicle.

While some, if not all, of the suspicious situations described could have innocent explanations, law enforcement departments would rather investigate a crime-prone situation than be called when it too late. Your call could save a life, prevent an injury, or stop a criminal act. Be Alert!




Neighborhood Safety Tips

Suspect(s), usually more than one person, confront Victim, usually elderly, and say they notice that the Victim needs some work done on the roof, driveway or house. Suspect(s) ask for a down-payment for the job in cash and return in the next few days to do some kind of work. However, the "repair" that is done is only superficial and not in many cases, ever needed. Examples:


·        Roofs can be treated (sprayed) with a certain oil to look good initially, but no significant restoration has been done.


·        Driveways can appear to have been re-asphalted when they have just been painted over with black paint.


·        Re-roofing of shingles where, instead of the entire roof being replaced, only the shingles on the edge of the roof or those easily seen are replaced.


Especially in Spanish-speaking neighborhoods, Suspect(s) have approached Victim(s) requesting that the Victim(s) use their legitimate ID to help cash the Suspect's check, usually a second-party or payroll type of check. Often the Suspect(s) suggest that the transaction be done at a liquor store that is familiar to the Victim. During the transaction, the Victim signs the check along with the Suspect. After the transaction, the bank does NOT honor the check and returns it to the liquor store. The liquor store contacts the Victim through their signature and demands reimbursement from the Victim.

There has been a recent scam where a suspect, wearing clothes resembling a uniform, has targeted elderly females who predominantly live alone. He poses as a utility repairman or window washer and requests or forces his way into the residence. While pretending to perform the "job" once inside the residence, he takes money, jewelry and has, on many occasions, exposed himself to the victim Victims have all been sixty years of age or older. You are urged to call the police if anyone comes to your home attempting to repair or maintain property without your prior consent. If any person forces their way into your home, keep yourself safe and call 9-1-1 as soon as it is possible.

If using a travel agency, make sure that you check how long the company has been operating. There have been cases where people have made reservations with travel agencies from out of state. The agency made the reservations, then vanished with clients' monies.

Suspect(s) may follow you out of a market or shopping mall parking lot and want you to stop because you supposedly hit their car. Suspect(s) then demand money for damage to their car. If this occurs to you, demand the police be called because you won't agree to pay anything without a police report.

Suspect(s) generally drive behind Victim, hit Victim's car, causing minor damage. Both Victim and Suspect stop vehicles to exchange possible insurance information. Suspect(s) then rob Victim of valuables and/or vehicle. Often Suspect(s) work in pairs so that when Victim exits vehicle to check damage, one Suspect engages Victim in conversation and the second Suspect either takes valuables and/or purse from the unattended vehicle or drive away with valuables and car. Victims in this type of scam usually appear well-to-do, are lone females and drive an above average priced automobile.

Suspect-1 approaches Victim-1 with a story of some kind. Usually, a Suspect-2 comes into the situation as a supposed unrelated party and substantiates Suspect-1's plan. Sample stories: "I have a large amount of money that I want to donate and don't have proper identification"...or, "I found this large sum of money and we can split it, but you need to contribute some money to show good faith of your involvement..."

They approach residents stating that they live in the neighborhood and that they are locked out of their house and that they need a little money to pay for a locksmith. Suspect(s) do not live in area and are simply lying to beg money off victims.



Neighborhood Driving Safety Tips

(Print this page and keep it in the glove box of your car.)

Try to AVOID an accident:

·        Always keep a safe distance from the car in front of you. Increase this distance even more during rainy or foggy conditions.


·        Allow rude or impatient drivers to pass. Stay clear of weaving or reckless drivers, and avoid passing them if possible.


·        Do not react to a driver who has become hostile. Avoid making eye contact or gesturing.


In case of accident, IMMEDIATELY:


1.   Proceed to a safe area such as a service station or well-lit parking lot. Motion for the other driver to do the same.


2.   Conceal and secure any valuables before exiting your vehicle.


3.   Write down the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all persons involved and all witnesses. Also write down their vehicle description including the license plate.


4.   Notify the local police if there are injuries, if traffic is obstructed, or if the other driver appears intoxicated. If there are no injuries, move the vehicles to the curb if possible.


5.   Notify your insurance company when practicable. Fill in the following:

·        Insured By:

·        Policy No.:





Neighborhood Safety Tips

The automatic teller machine provides you quick, convenient access to your money. By following these important safety tips, you can safely use the ATM whenever you need cash.

·        Memorize your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Do not write your PIN on your ATM card or leave it in your wallet. Your card can only be used with your PIN. If your card is lost or stolen, it cannot be used unless the PIN is provided.

·        Keep your ATM card in a safe place. Protect it as you would cash or credit cards. If it is lost or stolen, notify your financial institution immediately.

·        Have your transactions ready before going to the ATM. Fill out your deposit slip and place your checks or cash in envelope and seal it before you arrive at the ATM location.

·        Don't fall for "con" games. If anyone asks you to withdraw money for any reason, leave the area at once. Notify your financial institution and local law enforcement officials immediately of any criminal activity.

·        Stand between the ATM and people waiting to use the machine, so others can't see you enter your PIN and perform your transaction.

·        Never give information about your ATM account to strangers or inquiries on the telephone. Communicate this information only to your financial institution - in person.



1.   Prepare your transaction before approaching an ATM.

2.   Avoid leaving your transaction record at the ATM: take it with you.

3.   Shield the ATM with your body before entering your secret code.

4.   Select a well lit ATM when using one at night.

5.   Watch for suspicious activity near your selected ATM

6.   Obtain a list of ATM's in alternative locations.

7.   Report ATM incidents to the institution or law enforcement agency.

8.   Don't Linger, complete your transaction and leave the premises.




Neighborhood Safety Tips

Although burglary and theft leave emotional and financial effects, violent crimes such as homicide, rape, assault, and robbery have a much greater impact on our life-style and our feelings about our vulnerability. Our inherent fear of a violent confrontation causes most of us to make everyday decisions based on our personal safety. "Is this a safe neighborhood?" or "Is it safe to take a walk at night?" are frequent questions that reflect a concern controlling our behavior. How can we minimize our fear of violent crime? What steps can be taken to actually reduce our vulnerability to crimes such as street robbery? The following will shed some light on these questions.


Pedestrians: Plan ahead so that when you walk you are very visible to other people. This means that if you must walk alone, choose open, well-lit, and well-traveled areas. Crooks don't like to strike where eyewitnesses can provide the police with a detailed account. Leave your purse at home if possible. If you must carry one, hold it firmly, close to your body. Purse snatchers prefer to grab from behind.

If you walk or jog, especially at night, consider getting a dog that can accompany you. Criminal offenders relate that a dog is one of the most effective crime deterrents. Contact your local Animal Shelter for information regarding pet adoption.

If you work late hours, arrange to leave at the same time as a co-worker. Try to avoid parking far away from your work site. Be aware of your surroundings at all times by making eye contact with passers-by and glancing occasionally behind you. This type of "body language" will make you less attractive to a prospective mugger. If you sense that you are being followed, change directions or cross the street. If the person persists, run to the nearest place where you'll find people. DON'T allow a stranger to follow you to your doorstep. Go to a public place where you can call the police whenever you feel threatened. When fleeing from danger, alert others as well as the person posing a threat. Yell "Fire...Fire...Fire!" or activate an alarm device such as an aerosol shriek alarm. This device is a hand held noisemaker that, when carried, may dissuade a crook from choosing you in the first place.

Drivers: Avoid fumbling for your keys; have them in your hand as you approach your car. Always check the back seat for uninvited guests before getting inside. Keep enough gas in the tank so you won't get stranded. Keep all doors locked and windows rolled up most of the way. Stay on well-traveled, well-lit roads. If you are being followed by another car, drive into an open gas station, stay in your car, and ask the attendant to call the police. Better yet, drive straight to the nearest police station for assistance. Park only in well-lit areas at night. Check for strangers who might be "casing" the area before you exit your car. Honk your horn and drive away if such a person advances toward you. If you are "rear-ended" by another vehicle, motion for the driver to follow you to a public place. "Bump and rob" artists stage such accidents to lure unsuspecting drivers out of their cars to rob them of their wallet or purse. If a driver won't follow you, obtain as thorough a description as you can and report the incident to the police. If your car breaks down, seek a phone or call box only if safe to do so. Place a "Call Police" banner in your rear window and raise the hood. If a "good Samaritan" approaches, crack a window and ask them to call the police or your tow company.

At Home: Check for signs of forced entry such as broken glass, a torn screen or pry marks before venturing inside. Make it a habit to leave a few dollars out in the open near your entry way. Back out quietly if you see the money is gone. NEVER feel reluctant to call the police if you sense the possibility of an intruder inside. Screen all strangers knocking at your door. Interview them through a one-way peephole while your door is locked. Anyone who refuses to present his or her driver's license or employee I.D. upon request should be reported to the police. Properly secure all openings at nighttime. "Cat burglars" are deterred when the only means of gaining entry would require breaking glass or smashing a door. Don't assume that upper floor windows are too high for a burglar's reach.

If you are a Victim: Some confrontations are unavoidable. When you consider that 4 out of 10 violent crime victimizations by strangers involve an armed offender, it's vital that you be prepared to minimize your risk of injury. Be willing to give up your valuables. A purse, wallet or jewelry is not worth fighting for when facing someone wielding a weapon. Carry only as much cash as you need. If confronted, try to stay calm. An assailant will be less likely to attack you if you appear controlled and self-confident. Try to mentally note your assailant's appearance without staring. Use physical self- defense techniques only as a last resort to protect yourself when attacked. Go to the phone and dial 9-1-1 as soon as possible. Let the police operator take charge and instruct you. Remember, your quick actions in notifying the police will increase their chance of apprehending the suspect and preventing future victims.

Victim/Witness Assistance: Being the victim of a violent crime can have lasting emotional effects. If you are a victim, don't suppress your feelings of anger or frustration. If you are the friend or relative of a victim, lend your emotional support by being available to listen.




Neighborhood Safety Tips

Before Leaving


·        Inform your neighbors of how long you expect to be away. Inform them if you will have a housesitter.


·        Have a friend or neighbor pick up mail and/or deliveries. Make arrangements to have the lawn mowed and leaves picked up.


·        Simulate Simulate a "lived-in" appearance by using timers to run lights and a radio on and off during expected hours.


On the Road


·        Never carry large amounts of cash; use travelers checks. If you must carry a large sum of money, do not display it openly.


·        Keep a record of your traveler's check numbers and your credit card numbers in a safe place. Have the telephone numbers to call in case your checks or credit cards are lost or stolen.


·        Take only credit cards that you actually plan to use. Make a Xerox copy of all your cards before you leave home so you have a record of the card numbers.


·        Be aware of your surroundings and never advertise your plans to strangers. This includes travel routes and the amount of cash you are carrying.


Car Rental and Security


·        When renting a car, pick one whose operations you are familiar with. If not, take time to see where the lights, brakes, turn signals, windshield wipers, and spare tire are and how they work.


·        Rent a car at night. Stay in the hotel and rent it in the morning


·        Always lock your car when entering or leaving it.


·        Park in well-lighted, busy areas and check the vehicle's interior and surrounding area before entering.


·        Always lock valuables out of sight. Always carry wallets, checkbooks, and purses with you.


·        Do not advertise that you are a tourist. Place maps and travel brochures in the glove compartment.


·        If you do become lost, drive to a public place to check the map. Don't stop along a street or the highway.




·        Remember the name and address of the hotel/motel where you are staying. Take a business card or a book of matches with the name of the hotel/motel.


·        Ask for directions at a hotel/motel on how to get to those attractions you want to visit.


·        Select your guides carefully.


·        Ask if there are any areas in town you should avoid. Stick to well- lighted main streets and public areas.


·        Only carry with you the cash you will need, and only in small denominations.


Hotel and Motel Security

When staying overnight at a hotel or motel, remember the following:

·        Determine the most direct route to and from your room, to the fire escapes, elevators, and nearest phone.


·        When occupying or leaving your room, use all auxiliary locking devices on doors and windows.


·        Identify anyone requesting entry to your room. Open the door only if you are certain that the person has a legitimate reason to enter your room. If in doubt, call the hotel/motel office.


·        Unpack and place belongings in the closet and dresser. Arrange your things so you'll know if anything is missing. When you leave your room, close up your suitcase.


·        Suitcases should always be locked so they cannot be used to carry your property out of your room.


·        Never leave money, checks, credit cards, or car keys in the room. Take them with you.


·        Place extra cash, expensive jewelry or other valuables (furs, gems, gold, or silver) in the hotel/motel safe.


·        Report any lost or stolen items to the hotel/motel management and to the police.


·        Report to the management any suspicious movements in the corridors or rooms.


On the Town


·        Never display large amounts of cash when making purchases. It is better to use traveler's checks or credit cards.


·        Men should carry wallets in an inside coat or trouser pocket.


·        A woman should hold her purse close to her side when walking. Be sure the purse is closed tightly and that the opening is facing the body.


·        Don't stop to give money to panhandlers.


·        Be aware of your surroundings and those around you. If you feel threatened or uncomfortable, seek help.





Walden Oaks Homeowners’ Association