Southwest Houston residents on edge after spike in crime

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- It can be like the wild west at times.

"I found three bullets in the roof that had gone through the shingles and were causing it to leak, and you see at the angle they were in, they were obviously fired from the nearby apartments," said Dale Kirk, a 33-year resident of a neighborhood called Shenandoah.

Shenandoah is a small but proud neighborhood within Gulfton, which sits next to Bellaire. Members of the Shenandoah Civic Association.

"It's a diamond in the rough," said Tom Einhorn, a board member of the Shenandoah Civic Association. "This could be such a great area."

They say they watched their close-knit community, where everybody knows everyone, become infected with crime over the years. Shenandoah is surrounded by multi-family apartment buildings, which police say is where more crime tends to happen.

"I hate to sure let the city abandon us and get saturated by the riffraff around us. And then if one community goes, who's next?" said Fernando Mancha, a 25-year Shenandoah resident.

Last month's crime statistics in the Shenandoah/Gulfton revealed the following:

19 Aggravated Assaults
16 Robberies
27 Burglaries
77 Thefts
50 Auto Thefts

These numbers are higher than some of its surrounding areas.

"We are trying to make this a nice family area and be safe," said Einhorn.

They now want a cop to patrol their neighborhood full-time. These residents are trying to raise $76,742 for an officer who would be dedicated just to their community. Residents said they appreciate the nearby Houston police storefront but it is only open from 8am to 4pm on weekdays - not when neighbors say they need them most: on nights and weekends.

"Most of the crime happens at night or on weekends so that would be a great asset if we can have an officer patrol this area," said Einhorn.

Houston Police explained in a statement:

"Storefronts are staffed weekdays to serve the neighborhood. While budget constraints do not allow for staffing a neighborhood storefront 24/7, HPD has the same number of officers responding to calls for service...on the weekends."

The small community wants to raise that $76,742 by the end of May on GoFundMe. However at this time they've only brought in about $300.
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