(KMOV) -- Police say that there have been 13 burglaries and five attempted burglaries in University City since the start of the new year, including one on Monday. Police have responded by stepping up patrols, and neighbors are now vowing to take action of their own.
"It made me feel violated," Adrienne Hughes said of burglar who broke into her University City home two weeks ago. "It takes time to recover from something like that."
When Hughes's home was broken into, she decided to get to know her neighbors. She discovered that several others in the northwest corner of University City are just as concerned as she is, and they're sharing similar stories.
"This was pulled out," Diane Larry said of her back window. "The screen where you could see where they tried to get in."
"Someone came all the way back there [in the driveway] and went in his car and took his radio out," Lydia Payne said about her husband's car being broken into. "You completely feel violated and unsafe, I mean you've come into my space."
"It looks like the thugs are trying to take it over, but we're not going to let these thugs run us out of our community," neighbor Betty Thompson said. "We're going to run them out."
They're starting by creating a neighborhood watch.
"My neighbor on this side called me and said 'it looks like there's some broken glass by the window'," Dorothy Leon said of the early morning phone call.
Police aren't sure whether this was the work of a would-be intruder, but neighbors aren't taking chances.
"It pisses me off," Larry said. "I work hard to get what I've got in here."
"We're going to get together to see what we can do as far as the neighborhood," Payne said. "I'm not leaving my neighborhood."
They'll meet Tuesday at community center on Pennsylvania from 6-8 p.m. to hash out a plan with police to protect their neighborhood.
"We know that we have to be eyes and ears for each other -- even for the police department," Thompson said.
"Watch yourself," Larry added. "Because we're looking for you."