Florence Neighborhood Concerned After 200 Burglary Reports

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - A string of burglaries in Florence have neighbors on high alert.

During a neighborhood meeting to address the issue, Florence Police Chief Ron Tyler told the crowd, that out the 573 burglaries reported in Florence this year - almost half have come from the North Florence area.

Just since the beginning of November, nearly 30 home burglaries have been reported.

So Chief Tyler addressed a crowd of concerned neighbors about what they can do to prevent themselves from being a target of crime.

“I hope they are going to be better neighbors and look out for one another.  I hope they are going to be aware and start seeing and observing, and being more aware of suspicious people, and vehicles and letting us know when they see them,” said Tyler.

With the staggering crime rate concentrated around North Florence, several people at the meeting vowed to rejuvenate the long forgotten Neighborhood Watch Program in their area.

But the residents of Forest Hills and Sherwood Forest have taken their watch program off the streets, to online, with a Facebook page that updates residents about anything suspicious going on in the area.

 “I heard there had been several break-ins in the neighborhood, so what I wanted to do is put a resource out there that would allow people to go to it, to communicate what they see in the neighborhood,
 said Brad Hanlock, who created the Facebook site.

The Florence Police Chief is very supportive of the online efforts for crime prevention.

“Facebook is just the modern way of staying engaged with your neighbors and I would encourage other neighborhoods to follow suit and do the same thing,” said Tyler.

It's a different way of doing things in this digital age, but Florence police hope logging on to fight crime, will keep this burglary outbreak from spreading.

Florence Police say they have 12 suspects in the burglary ring.

Investigators are still piecing together evidence, and hope to make arrests in this case, during the coming weeks.

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