River Heights residents turn out in droves to hear police tips on preventing vandalism
Winnipeg police say they've made 26 arrests in Project Comet, but vandals and thieves still plague area
At least 200 people attended a public meeting on Wednesday evening to hear Winnipeg police offer tips on preventing crime in River Heights, a neighbourhood where residents have complained about a spike in vandalism and break-ins for the past year.
The meeting at the Corydon Community Centre was organized by the police service in response to complaints about smashed windows, broken-in cars and vandalism in the neighbourhood.
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"Whenever it happens, you feel like you have been encroached on," said Kevin Kilbrei, who came to the meeting to get some answers and reassurance. "You've been disrespected in some way."
Kilbrei has had bikes stolen, his garage door kicked in and more. He was so frustrated he took matters into his own hands last year and stopped someone suspicious in his back lane with two bikes, then waited for police to show up.
"I'm not sure what happened," he said. "They did take him away. He was known to police."
Winnipeg police told the crowd the program they launched last year to target property crime in the area, called Project Comet, has resulted in 26 arrests.
Still, they admitted that they've seen a spike in cases this spring.
"We have recognized some successes in that area," said West District Staff Sgt. Rob Harding. "But that being said, it's still being exploited."
Police offered up a number of tips to help prevent crime, including locking windows and doors and installing lights and alarms. Officers also encouraged residents to report anything that seems suspicious.