South City residents fighting back against crime -

South City residents fighting back against crime

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SOUTH ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( - Holy Hills residents say they are fed up with the crime in their community.

Now, the people living in the south St. Louis neighborhood are fighting back against criminals who have recently targeted women and elderly people.

"We are not used to crime numbers in Holly Hills," said resident Greg Venneman. "We are not going to become used to it."

So far in 2015, there have been 11 robberies in Holly Hills, a number that has tripled since last year, according to police.

"Holly Hills. you never heard of anything in Holly Hills before. You hear a lot more on the news today," says resident Alicia Rockel. 

Just last week, News 4 reported that Holly Hills is part of a rash of armed robberies. Nearby Bevo Mill and Tower Grove south are also included in the rash.  

"Nothing more than vermin who do this type of thing, prey on elderly women, anybody," said Venneman.  "When it gets so violent on top of robberies, we have to draw the line somewhere."

That line is being drawn right now in a grassroots effort called "Rat Patrol." It's almost like a mobile neighborhood watch that will let the community know when trouble is lurking. 

"Whether it be by virtue of us talking on walkie talkies, or just cell phones, some type of warning system, air horns or whistles," says Venneman. 

Rat Patrol is in its early stages, but already has gained the support of the community.   

"I think this is so safe because all of the neighbors keep watch for everybody else. I fell and a neighbor three doors down saw and called an ambulance," says Rockel.

Venneman adds," The vast majority of people will do whatever it takes to stand together. It's gotta stop." 

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