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Alert Tulsa Neighbors Train To Notice Suspicious Behavior

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All over town there are signs are up in neighborhoods, letting people know the neighbors who live there have been trained on how to spot people who are up no good and alert the police. All over town there are signs are up in neighborhoods, letting people know the neighbors who live there have been trained on how to spot people who are up no good and alert the police.
Sunday morning, dozens of south Tulsa neighbors woke up to car and truck windows shattered from what looked like a B.B. or pellet gun. Sunday morning, dozens of south Tulsa neighbors woke up to car and truck windows shattered from what looked like a B.B. or pellet gun.
Crime Prevention Coordinator, Bart Dean said officers are so busy they can't always go on neighborhood patrols, so neighbors need to fill the gaps. Crime Prevention Coordinator, Bart Dean said officers are so busy they can't always go on neighborhood patrols, so neighbors need to fill the gaps.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Wednesday, neighbors from all over the city joined together to learn crime fighting techniques they can use in their neighborhoods.

The meeting comes as police work to track down the people responsible for shooting out dozens of vehicles over the weekend near 81 and Sheridan.

Crime can happen anywhere and, although no one can predict when it will happen, every neighbor can play their part to, hopefully, prevent it.

All over town there are signs are up in neighborhoods, letting people know the neighbors who live there have been trained on how to spot people who are up no good and alert the police.

Sunday morning, dozens of south Tulsa neighbors woke up to car and truck windows shattered from what looked like a B.B. or pellet gun. It happened during the night, so neighbors didn't see a thing.

10/11/2015 Related Story: Vandals Shoot Out Car Windows In Tulsa Neighborhood

"I don't think that's anything we probably would have caught," said Ed Stutsman, a captain in his alert neighbors group about five miles away from where the vandals struck.

Even though his neighbors are vigilant, he said it would have been hard to prevent. But neighborhood leaders throughout the city are doing their best to prevent crime, from the comfort of their yards.

Crime Prevention Coordinator, Bart Dean, said, "You want to look for what is normal - always paying attention to what’s normal, what's going on - so when something is abnormal, you don't have to look for it, it just jumps out at you.”

Dean said officers are so busy they can't always go on neighborhood patrols, so neighbors need to fill the gaps.

“We want to teach you to be an be an excellent  witness so when police get there they know who to look for, what to look for and what the crime is," he said.

It means paying attention to clothing, race, sex and especially which direction a suspicious person headed.

"We discourage any kind of intervention in any way, shape or form. We don't want anyone becoming a vigilante. We don't want anyone going out there dealing with the crimes themselves," Dean said.

Besides watch dogs and good lighting, cameras are a big help.

"We can now look back to see who the person was who went into the house," Dean explained.

The goal for the neighbors is to take the information and share it.

Stutsman said, "If all neighbors could do this we'd be a lot safer."

There are about 130 of the active neighborhood programs. Right now, OU is conducting a study to gather the data on the alert neighbor programs to see if they are truly making a difference in our community.

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