By Kiet Do

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — People living in one San Jose neighborhood are fighting to keep a fence they say keeps out crime.

At the end of Rosecrest Terrace in San Jose, is a 100-foot-long, 7 foot high example of citizens rising up.

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Residents installed the fence at an easement in Rosecrest Terrace, near Lincoln High School in July.

Neighbor Armando Lopez said, “So [we] worked with the city to make sure we were within coding…”

Neighbors paid for and built the brick and wrought iron fence on their own, after suffering for years from escalating crime coming in from Dana Avenue, a busy street separating the neighborhood from Lincoln High School.

There is no shortage of images of crooks burglarizing homes, tagging property, or stealing items off porches in the cover of darkness.

A group of thieves were caught on video ripping out copper wiring from the lamp posts.

In another video, drug dealers were seen selling out in the open, in broad daylight.

When Lopez and neighbors called police, one suspect came back and cornered Armando at his house.

Lopez said, “He said that he would kill me. And amongst other bodily harm things, called me quite a few names in that exchange.”

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After that violent confrontation, the city quickly approved a temporary emergency permit to lock the fence across a public right of way, and block foot traffic entering the cul de sac from the busy street.

The result was dramatic.

The Rosecrest Terrace neighborhood went from half a dozen crimes a week, to none.

Lopez said, “Since the emergency permit that was issued two months ago, we have not had one incident since.”

Rosecrest Terrace neighbors have a history of taking the initiative.

After a 12-year-old girl was killed back in 2008, neighbors paid to install lane dividers, the first time any neighborhood in the city had ever done so.

Neighbors will split the cost of the fence, which is about $25,000.

City Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio says it’s noble for the neighbors to take on the effort.

Oliverio said San Jose is “a city that allows residents to come up with solutions. I think just telling people no, that we can’t help you doesn’t work.”

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With all the recent media attention on their success at reducing crime, neighbors hope to keep up the pressure on the city to approve locking the fence for good.