OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — Home burglaries are so common in the Oakland Hills’ Seven Streets area that residents took matters into their own hands.
In the secluded hills above Oakland there is a neighborhood that calls itself the Seven Streets, where home burglaries have become common.
Bruce Conrad, the Seven Streets Neighborhood Block Captain said, they’re so common that “…everybody goes to work in the morning and wonders if their house will be robbed when they come home at night.”
One resident didn’t want to identified and didn’t put his face on camera, which is ironic considering the action the neighborhood has taken, which is to put everyone on camera.
That resident said, “You know, everyone was starting to get freaked out enough that we had to do something.”
They’re installing seven high quality surveillance cameras to capture the license plates of every car entering and leaving the area. To do it, they took up a collection, hoping to raise $20,000. They got $30,000.
Conrad said, “While we were doing our fundraising, there was a rash of burglaries in the neighborhood…and that helped.”
The motion activated video is stored for two weeks on a central server. And even though this may seem to be a valuable tool for law enforcement, the neighbors say Oakland police don’t seem to take the burglaries very seriously, often showing up hours after being called.
Conrad said he’s concerned that even if they get a license plate number, police may not it follow up on it.
Residents say they understand in a city with Oakland’s problems, home break-ins are not the highest priority.
But as people begin to move out of the neighborhood, those who stay are doing what they can, even if it’s just to send the message that someone is watching.
“Just putting a second thought in their head, at least…maybe I’m on camera, maybe I’m not. Maybe someone’s sitting in their office watching on camera right now,” said the resident who didn’t want to be identified.