Bluffton residents form Neighborhood Watch after recent murder - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Bluffton residents form Neighborhood Watch after recent murder

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BLUFFTON, SC (WTOC) -

People in Bluffton are coming together to form a neighborhood watch after one of their neighbors was murdered.

Polly Ann Mitchell was murdered inside her Buck Island Road home last month. Jerry Manigault, the man charged with killing her, is in jail in Charleston.

"Folks who live here in the Buck Island Section of Bluffton say this area used to be very safe, but that's no longer the case," said Johnnie Brown. "They say Polly Ann's death was a huge wake up call, and it's time to get control of their neighborhood."

Brown remembers the days when people could sleep with their doors unlocked and windows up. He said that wouldn't happen today because the crime here has gotten out of control.

That's why he's organizing a neighborhood watch.

"We feel as though it's time now to gather ourselves together and try to look out for one another," said Brown. "We've got elderly people in this area still that are vulnerable to predators."

Brown's neighbor, 70-year-old Mitchell, was one of those people.

Brown is hoping a neighborhood watch can keep this from happening again, and perhaps reduce crime altogether.

"We're trying to assist the police, but it was started because of Polly Ann's death," said Brown. "We want to know who is around us and who is in our neighborhood, especially with the violators, the sexual predators. We want to make sure that we know that they're in our area, so we're setting up a crime watch now in order to monitor this neighborhood."

Bluffton Police will also be helping out with the neighborhood watch. The first meeting will be Saturday at 4 p.m. on Buck Island Road, and everyone who lives in the area is encouraged to attend.

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