Track Crime in Brookside/Waldo Via These Websites

Seems like there has been an uptick in crime lately in the Brookside area–break-ins and thefts more often and during daylight hours. A regular blog reader sent me a couple of crime websites to check out, and this inspired me to write a blog post about them. It’s  discouraging to hear about frequent burglaries, assaults, thefts and armed robberies so close to home…it will never totally go away but you can be more aware of what’s happening around your house.

burglary-two-20097157Being a real estate agent, I often hear this phrase: “I want a safe neighborhood”. My reply is there is crime everywhere, and it’s best to check with the local police department for details. However if you want specific information on crime stats (and registered sex offenders) for Kansas City MO, check crimereports.com. KCPD reports incidents to this site, and you can sign up for weekly email recaps of what’s been happening in your area, block by block. I checked stats for January 2014 in the Brookside zone between 55th St. to Gregory, State Line to Holmes and there were 35 different types of theft crimes (breaking and entering, robbery, vehicle theft) and one sexual assault (described as a forcible rape). For the Waldo area (State Line to Holmes, Gregory to 85th), I counted 29 theft incidents and one sexual assault. To me, this indicates the police are kept pretty busy just in these two areas of Kansas City. Crime is more frequent farther east. Regarding home burglaries, KCPD does offer a free program that sends an officer to your home for a safety check, walking through the property with you and making suggestions on how to deter criminals from choosing your house for a burglary. I’ve had this done and it was very helpful–there are many preventative measures you can take  that are pretty inexpensive.

Another website, spotcrime.com, also posts detailed crime information. The site is a ‘crime data aggregator’ pulling data from police, news reports and other sources. I didn’t  find spotcrime.com as easy to read or navigate as crimereports.com. You can also get email alerts from this site.

There is one more site I want to mention called nextdoor.com. I just signed up to start using it today, so haven’t had a chance to monitor it on a regular basis. Nextdoor.com is a “private social network for your neighborhood”: you can post details about events, yard sales, lost pets, crime, for sale items, handyman inquiries, etc. I can see the benefit if more people join and share information. There are just ten Brookside area homes associations listed, and I’d like to see more added to the list to cover as much of the Brookside area as possible. This site would being especially useful as a quick email alert to notify neighbors of a crime occurrence or suspicious person in your immediate area.

Knowing your neighbors personally and having a block captain is one of the most effective ways to be aware of what’s happening on your street. Always be aware of your surroundings, especially in the dark when getting in and out of your car, going through your backyard or near your garage. And thanks Kelly for recommending these websites to share with my readers!

Protect Your Brookside Home from Burglaries

Last night I attended a Brookside/Waldo networking event at the Metro Patrol division of the KCMO Police Dept at 7601 Prospect.  The first bit of news I heard on arrival was that the cops had caught the guy who robbed McClain’s Bakery–twice!  They were waiting for him on the second event and picked up the perp the same day.  Thank you, officers, for your diligent policing of Brookside and our neighborhood shops.

I also talked to office John Trainor, who runs the Residential Surveys program for the department. This is a complimentary service, where John comes to your home and spends thirty minutes or so surveying your property from a security perspective. He will offer suggestions on ways to discourage burglars from making your house a target.  Usually these appointments are scheduled Monday through Friday, 11am-2pm, contact John via email to schedule a visit:  john.trainor@kcpd.org.

Another interesting fact I learned last night about break-ins:  50% of burglars go through the front door!  First they knock to see if anyone is home–if no answer, they will kick in the front door.  I asked about these thick, old Brookside doors–John said they are relatively easy to kick in, especially if the deadbolt is less than one inch long.  Also, most burglaries occur during the day rather than at night–I thought just the opposite.  Finally, approximately twenty cars per day are broken into in Kansas City MO.  Lock your car and don’t leave anything inside of value!

I hope this information is helpful to you–I’m going to schedule a visit with John at my own home.  Be proactive about protecting the contents of your home and vehicles–it just takes a little extra effort!

Crime Reports for Brookside/Waldo

A neighbor stopped me the other day, asking if I had heard about the home break-ins one block over.  She mentioned two homes  were broken into during the early afternoon hours. I had not heard about these incidents at the time…but a couple of days later, they popped up on my personalized Crime Reports incident report. I don’t remember exactly  how I found out about this site, but it’s well worth a look for current crime stats in the Brookside/Waldo area.

Since August 8, there have been six thefts and two break-ins in my Armour Hills neighborhood.  That’s higher than  normal.  I checked a few other areas nearby, and Oak Meyer Gardens/Armour Hills Gardens and Rockhill Gardens  had two crimes each. These reports come to the site from the Kansas City Police Department.  The site also shows the location and description with photos, of registered sex offenders. Unfortunately, Kansas  police departments do not report to the site as far as I can tell.

One of the neat features about this site is that you can log in and set up a search for your  neighborhood–each week the site will automatically email you a crimes report for the area you designated.  This is a great tool to use to watch crime stats and also notify neighbors of problems, especially if there seems to be a pattern developing.  In Armour Hills, having two break-ins on the same day within a couple of hours of each other should put neighbors on alert for suspicious persons in the area.

As I sit typing this blog, I’m positioned in front of a window facing  the street.  Usually I see joggers, dog walkers, moms with strollers going by…kids walking home from school and contractors working on home improvement projects.  I’ve rarely  seen a suspicious person  lurking about…still, I am even more aware now  to consciously look around as I pull in and out of the driveway or walk to a neighbor’s home.  Being extra alert can deter crime.  If you are a Kansas City MO resident, check out crimereports.com for information on what’s happening in your area.

Thanks for reading my blog…if you are interested in home buying or selling in the Brookside/Waldo area, visit my website. I’m here to help!