Monday, December 22, 2014

Violent Home Invasion in Lake Worth. From the NAPC...

On December 21st at 2:30 AM, one of our Lake Worth families suffered a vicious home invasion. The husband was attacked and rendered unconscious. The wife was attacked but fought back hard trying to lead the attacker out of the house. She suffered a black eye and bruises and loosened teeth. The 13 year old daughter retreated to her bedroom where she immediately called 911. The attacker fled the scene but the description and details provided to PBSO will surely help in apprehending this criminal. 

The NAPC joins with all our neighbors in expressing our deepest concern for this family and many of us will be calling on them in the days ahead to offer what assistance we can as they put their lives back together.

One of our greatest assets in this city is the partnership our Neighborhoods have with PBSO. They have the resources, but more importantly, they have the commitment to follow through on this crime and bring that particular vicious criminal to justice. There is also so much we can do to help PBSO protect our homes and families and our neighbors before this happens again.

Last year, all the Presidents of all the Neighborhood Associations met with PBSO and were given a tour of the entire City and the dangers we all face. What we learned is that the threat to our neighborhoods come from multiple factors - The appalling number of vacant and abandoned homes used by drug dealers, prostitutes and thieves. That alone touches on the complexity of the problem. Poor or non-existent lighting in the neighborhoods at night. Houses (occupied and not) shrouded in unkempt vegetation providing cover for criminal activity.

The inordinately high percentage of rental properties, many owned by absentee landlords who care NOT! This is not a slam towards renters! We are a very accepting and welcoming Community. No one cares if neighbors own or rent their homes - what creates stability in a neighborhood are people who engage regardless of whether they pay a mortgage or rent! Everyone is welcome at Neighborhood Association meetings and it is through those Associations that we can help ourselves and help PBSO.

So what can we do as neighbors? Make The Call Y'all every time and any time we witness suspicious activity. Get a Neighborhood Crime Watch up and running. The NAPC knows how to do this and we can help! Identify your neighborhood as a NEIGHBORHOOD - get street banners up! The NAPC has received a grant to help pay for these. The County is about to start a new series of neighborhood improvement classes and there is a $5,000 grant opportunity attached to this program. Sign up! 

Help each other clean up and clear out runaway vegetation. Through your Neighborhood Association, request street lights where there are none. Make it a habit to turn on porch lights and check on neighbors whose homes remain dark after dark. They may just need a little help installing lights. Sign up for the PBSO Citizens On Patrol (COP) program. Volunteers are trained and allowed to patrol when they wish, where they wish in specially marked PBSO cruisers. These COP volunteers use cell phones to report suspicious activity directly to PBSO.

What's easy is to sit back and blame PBSO or the City when terrible things like this happen. Easy - but not very productive. We have to take an active role in our own security and we have to do it SAFELY. Never ever confront suspicious persons yourselves! NEVER. Here's a link to the NAPC website page detailing some of the PBSO programs and services that we have access to.

This time, it was one of our Downtown Jewel Neighbors that was attacked, but it could have been any of us. At the NAPC, we recognize that our neighborhoods have boundaries, but we affirm that our commitment to each other does not. All the best in the new year to this brave family from the entire family of Lake Worth Neighbors.