Alert Vancouver neighbors stave off home burglaries, police say

Alert Vancouver neighbors stave off home burglaries, police say »Play Video

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- An group of neighbors in Northeast Vancouver are on guard following several break-ins and their alertness paid off Friday.

One of those neighbors -- a college student -- called 911 after he spotted two people who looked like they were casing homes.

"I park my car, I was looking and I was like, 'I haven't seen these guys ever before,' and they're walking right down the middle of the street, kind of like the own the place, basically," said Garrett Williams.

That was enough to raise the suspicions of Williams, a son of a former police officer. What he saw next only confirmed his concerns.

"It looked like they were staking out the place, kind of checking out the different cars that were in the area," he said. "I kind of heard them and they were like, 'Should we get this house?' And they were kind of pointing at my neighbor's house right there."

Williams called 911. Following a neighborhood chase through several backyards, Clark County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested a 20-year-old man and a juvenile on burglary charges.

That's good news for neighbors, including Barbara Cabe, who leads the local Truman Neighborhood Watch program. She said the two arrests are important for people in the neighborhood to see.

"Lately we've really seen more of the home break-ins, and people, that's when you really feel violated," she said.

Officials from the sheriff's office the Truman Neighborhood Watch as a model for the rest of Clark County because homeowners are remarkably active in efforts to prevent crime.

"I watch who's in the neighborhood, who's going up and down, shouldn't be and speeding," said neighbor Beverly Vahl.

Vahl sits by her window at night crocheting hats for cancer patients and keeping an eye out for trouble. She feels safer knowing neighbors like Williams are watching out for one another.

"If someone looks suspicious they probably are suspicious and it's better to make the call and then have them be like, 'Oh, I just live in the neighborhood and I'm just walking through,'" Williams said.