Homebuilder offers rewards to report crimes

September 17, 2010 3:41:48 PM PDT
It's a new way to fight crime. A homebuilder is offering cash rewards to keep one Houston neighborhood safe. The incentive has neighbors taking action. All Stephanie Peters wanted to do Saturday was let her dog out. What she found out took her by surprise.

"We jumped on the fence to take a look and here's this guys stuck in the mud, and my husband said, 'Whatcha doing? We'll get you some help,'" said Peters.

It turns out, the man they saw stuck in the mud was helping himself to a brand new washer and dryer installed by KB Home inside the newly built home, the latest crime in what Peters says has been a constant problem inside the Westgate subdivision where Peters lives.

"It happens all the time. People are always coming in and vandalizing new construction and the new homes around all the time," she said.

In the last 30 days, these are the crimes reported in the Westgate subdivision: 13 breaking and entering, 6 vehicle thefts, 7 assaults, and 23 property crimes.

"This is a huge investment for us, so we have a vested interest with the homeowners in the community," said Tim Mayo, KB Home VP - Houston. "We still have several phases to go out here."

KB Home is the homebuilder in Westgate with 350 homes built and another 200 homes planned.

KB Home started the Operation Stop Thief program, where neighbors are paid $500 for an arrest and $1,000 for each conviction.

The crime must be reported to proper authorities. That's what Peters did and this week, she was given a check for $500. It was a boost to her own sense of security.

"That's right. We're the crime stoppers here in Westgate," Peters said.

KB Home has made it clear that they're not encouraging vigilantism, rather homeowners to report a crime to proper authorities.


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