Westchester seeing a rise in break-ins

Posted at 11:45 PM, Feb 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-13 02:45:07-05

Crime is on the rise in Westchester and residents have had enough.

"There's been recent break-ins a couple of blocks over a couple of weeks ago. I've found squatters at the house across the street from me," said 17-year resident Dominique Minaberrigarai.

Neighborhood break-ins are on the rise and residents are fed up.

"You would expect in society that you would be able to walk around freely without worry about being jumped or robbed or you know the victim of some thug and I think everyone has that expectation," said neighbor, Keith Barnden.

According to Bakersfield Police, since January there have been 17 reported vehicle and/or residential burglary reports in the Westchester area.

Council member Terry Maxwell believes the neighborhood's location is part of the problem.

"There's a lot of people in the downtown area that kind of get dropped off, that's where the bus station is. New people in town that are maybe looking to do some crime," said Maxwell.

He has plans to reduce crime with the help of the community.

"We'll get some block captains, we'll start having a better neighborhood watch, we'll work with the Bakersfield Police Department," said Maxwell.

Some residents are already taking matters into their own hands.

"We've updated the cameras, motion detectors in the garage, just kind of updated the whole system to make it more safe," said Minaberrigarai.

But others believe law enforcement is responsible for keeping the city safe.

"Absolutely. You know, we're only three blocks from the police station, you'd think that they'd have a little better response time here and they don't," said Barnden.

In order to take back control of their neighborhood, Maxwell plans on meeting with police and community members to find a solution.

"Together we can come up with a plan on how we can combat some of this increase in crime," he said.

Police also said they'll be working with their crime analysts to try and locate a pattern to these offenses.

They encourage residents to report anyone or anything they think is suspicious. 

A community meeting will be held for Westchester residents on Monday, February 15th at The Park at the Mark in Downtown at 6 p.m..

Councilmember Maxwell will be there along with the members of the Bakersfield Police Department.

They want to hear from residents and work with them to resolve this issue. 


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