BURLINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — A community fed up with a rise in violent crime is now stepping up to help Burlington police stop the ongoing trend of car and firearm thefts.
Over the weekend, police arrested two juveniles after a concerned citizen reported a group of teens trying to steal a neighbor’s car.
“Burlington never wanted to be in this position to be having this going on in our community,” said Burlington Police Department Assistant Chief Brian Long.
Now, it’s the community the BPD is thanking for providing information that led to a recent arrest.
On Saturday around 10:45 p.m., a concerned community member called police to report an attempted car theft on the 1500 Block of Albright Avenue.
“In this particular case, we can say without question that the community is stepping up,” Long said. “Unfortunately, this group of what we believe to be all juveniles fled on foot. We were able to identify and apprehend two of them.”
That’s when police discovered one of those teens had a 9-millimeter gun that’d been reported stolen.
The other two juveniles got away on foot.
“Just this morning, we learned that particular weapon was stolen over the weekend from a Webb Avenue residence which is not far from the Albright location,” Long said.
Stolen guns and cars, gang activity and minors: it’s a trend the BPD said continues to happen around the city.
As they rely on leads to help them find the other two teens believed to be involved, some neighbors in the area say the recent increase in crime throughout the city has caused them to be more vigilant.
“I have motion lights here and at both carports,” said Hubert Britt, who lives nearby. “This was a great thing right here that this woman called them. They probably went all over this neighborhood.”
Britt has lived in this community since he was young. He said he won’t hesitate to call police if he sees someone committing a crime.
A block over, Laurin Kier said she would do the same but does have her reservations about picking up the phone to report crimes
“I would have to pay close attention to what I saw so that I felt really it was a threat to me or someone else before I would do that,” Kier said.
The BPD is asking people to make sure they lock their cars and take out all their valuables.
They said none of the alleged car thieves have had to break into vehicles. They’re getting into unlocked cars that have keys still in them or guns inside.
The juveniles in the latest case could face charges of possession of stolen property and attempted theft of automobile.