A Waterbury neighborhood is fighting back against criminals after a rash of break-ins.
Residents have started a citizens patrol in an effort to help protect themselves and their neighbors.
The quiet Town Plot area became a hot spot for crooks in May and June. Police have made several arrests in connection with more than a dozen recent break-ins across the neighborhood.
“I’m furious, I work hard for what I have I worked two jobs,” said resident Mary Lou D’Ambroso.
D'Ambroso was watching TV when someone broke in through her back door on Chipman Street.
“They could have beat me up or could have killed me,” she said.
Someone ransacked the place and stole expensive jewelry. D'Ambroso said she didn’t even know it until after the intruder took off.
“I feel they're awful and cruel, very cruel,” she said.
The Waterbury Police Department has been short dozens of officers, so it can’t watch over this area all the time. Neighbors responded by starting a citizens patrol.
“Another set of eyes for the Police Department is a good thing... it can’t hurt,” said Joseph Savoy of Waterbury.
Residents showed up at the Police Academy Thursday night and got the required training.
"You guys are ears and eyes,” a lieutenant told them. "This is not confrontational."
The volunteers planned to put labels on an old police cruiser and work in shifts through the night. The goal is to drive through the streets and call police immediately if they spot anything suspicious.
“We don't want to get into situation where it’s going to cause any harm to anyone,” Savoy said.
The intention is to make people here feel safer and to teach criminals that this neighborhood is the wrong place to be.
Neighbors said they could start the patrols as soon as this Saturday.