ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – A south St. Louis community’s effort against crime is sending more bad guys to jail with longer sentences.
Neighbors in Dutchtown South mobilized against the bad guys after a series of burglaries and two murders this year.
One burglar who hoped for just days behind bars got a seven-year sentence all because neighbors went to court refusing to let him off so easy.
Resident Michael Petetit also stepped up to the plate, creating a crime-fighting model for his Lafayette Square neighborhood that allows an entire neighborhood to get an order of protection against certain burglars and thieves. Once they commit a crime in certain communities, they’re never allowed to come back.
Nearly a dozen neighborhoods from south St. Louis to North City are organizing against crime. Homeowners and renters patrol their streets, cooperate with police and even go to court, telling judges the impact these criminals have made on their streets.
Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce says without residents, she has a tough time holding criminals accountable. “The number one reason we can't prosecute cases…is because we're missing the involvement from someone in the community” she says.