Neighbors West of Claremont Avenue Unite to Fight Crime

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The brutal mugging of a 60-year-old Rockridge woman on New Year’s Day has galvanized residents west of Claremont Avenue to take steps to deter area crime.

In a violent attack in a section of Rockridge that continues to see a disproportionate share of area crime, the victim was assaulted and robbed on Claremont Avenue near its intersection with Chabot Road.

Although the blocks between Claremont and Telegraph house approximately 30 percent of the population within OPD’s Beat 12Y, they accounted for 67 percent of the assaults and robberies reported during the early part of this year and 50 percent of all residential burglaries. An analysis of OPD data shows that the area experienced more than its fair share of serious crime throughout 2012 as well. Its streets can be poorly lit at night and also provide criminals quick getaway via nearby highway ramps.

Frustrated and frightened residents have revitalized Neighborhood Watch groups and are using websites such as nextdoor.com to alert each other of potential crime activity and available safeguards.

In February, volunteers distributed 500 leaflets with advice on crime deterrence and posted street placards encouraging residents to report suspicious activity to OPD. Some homeowners are installing night vision video recording cameras to assist OPD investigations.

“There’s a house on my street that has been burglarized five times in the past seven years” says Lizzie Phelps of 60th Street. “Enough is enough. We’re working together to make our neighborhood less easy of a target.”

Next month: a list of the group’s crime-fighting tips.

Diana Thomas, Rockridge resident