(KMOV) – Residents in one East St. Louis community are buying guns after dozens of home burglaries and car thefts, claiming police have been too slow to respond.
They say there have been at least 75 incidents in the last two months.
When asked about these crimes, police said they could not verify the high number of incidents residents cited because of a computer glitch.
Residents say one of the problems that make it easier for thieves is that it’s too dark in their neighborhood. They say thieves are using a large field as a way to escape.
One resident says in one year, neighbors called 12 times and police responded only twice.
Even the head of the neighborhood watch agrees. Rowena Howard says in the past two months, there have been 75 car break-ins around her block. She says sometimes police respond, sometimes they don’t.
Now Howard and her neighbors are looking to weapons for protection.
Mayor Alvin Parks says the city is investigating the complaints from residents and they have a plan to curb crime in that area.
He says police will step up patrols in that neighborhood starting Thursday night.