LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - A central Lawton neighborhood that has experienced a rash of burglaries and break ins over the past few weeks, is fighting back. Fields and Dunning is just southwest of Cache Road and Fort Sill Boulevard. A dozens break ins and burglaries in a month has gotten the residents fed up.
On Sunday, they held their first neighborhood watch meeting in an effort to come together as a community, and learn how to combat the thieves.
Kristina Kelly, who lives in the neighborhood, came home one morning after working out, to her back door violently kicked open. The thieves, not deterred by Kelly's three barking dogs, corralled the pets into the bathroom. They locked them in before they searched the house. They found Kelly and her boyfriend's collection of newer and antique guns.
They made off with two guns and a video game console, but police told Kelly they would have gotten more.
"They had drop it by the window," said Kelly. "They actually, I guess, saw me coming up the driveway so they had run out the back alley since then."
The trespassers went out a side gate that Kelly has kept locked since that terrifying morning.
That happened about a week and a half ago, and she has installed bright lights and security cameras outside. Kelly reached out to her neighbors, and learned that she wasn't the only house in the area to experience a break in.
Danny Cox, who has lived in this neighborhood for nearly 40 years, says he has never seen this many break ins before.
"One right after the other," said Cox. "Like just right on down the street."
Cox and a few other neighbors have started to patrol the streets after-hours since the pick up in crime.
"A lot of us, our families live in this area, and there is a lot of elderly people living in this area," said Cox. "We're going to take care of you. And you know, we're fed up, we've had enough."
The neighborhood watch meeting on Sunday night was a chance for them to meet their neighbors, and Ward Councilman Keith Jackson. They also voiced their concerns to the Lawton police.
Cox says he hopes the newly formed neighborhood watch sends a message to the criminals.
"We've got our eyes on you, 24/7," said Cox. "Everybody's watching now."
At the watch meeting, good advice for keeping your home secure was passed around to residents.
Everyone was encouraged to lock every point of entry to your home, and lock up your cars and garages.
Cox also said that if anyone needs a light bulb for outdoor lights, he will supply them for anyone in the neighborhood to keep the streets lit up.
He says they more than the residents know; the better chance they have at getting the thieves out of the neighborhood.
Police say that every neighborhood in Lawton should form an active neighborhood watch to keep an eye on the neighborhood and to keep criminals away.