Coffee Bluff community crime meeting held Tuesday - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Coffee Bluff community crime meeting held Tuesday

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

An emergency meeting concerning crime in the Coffee Bluff community was held Tuesday at the Crusader Community Center.

Alderman Tony Thomas called the meeting last week in response to the recent crime in the area.

One woman said Coffee Bluff has changed a lot since she moved there 15 years ago. And according to her, crime seen in other parts of Savannah is headed for her neighborhood next.

"See, I lived in New York, so I know about crime. I can tell you, it does, it travels. It doesn't stay in one place,” said Kim Manigault, Coffee Bluff resident. 

Manigault was part of the standing room only crowd at the Crusader Community Center. So too were the Mayor, police chief, and several other city, county, and law enforcement officials.

Their message to the Coffee Bluff neighborhood, "partner with us."

"It has gone too long when people have said, 'Not in my neighborhood.' But the minute that it hits your neighborhood, then everybody is all upset and all in a row. So what we want you to do is be upset now and do something about it,” said Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson.

"So I'm telling you, with your all's help, our arrest rate sky rockets. You're our eyes and ears. We can't be everywhere, but when you call us, we'll come," said Capt. Terry Shoop, SCMPD. 

The frustration was evident. The ideas were, at times, a bit far-fetched, like this homeowners thoughts on the use of barracks.

"And they're very cheap, you can put an awful lot of young criminals in there for 90 days, and they won't be going home after 24 hours after you catch them and lock them up," said one resident at the meeting.  

But police said their biggest issue is one that you can prevent. They've seen an increase in residential and auto burglaries as well as car theft. And they say 90 percent of stolen cars were left unlocked and with the keys inside.

The police chief even joked about the advice he gives his own wife.

"If you're going to leave your purse on the seat, roll the window down,” said SCMPD Chief Jack Lumpkin.

While the residents are concerned crime will continue to spread to Coffee Bluff, not everyone has given up hope. The attitude from many was that they've had enough and want to do their part.

"I hope it turns around like it was before when I first moved here. I hope it turns around just like that. And I'm going to try to help and do that if I can," said Manigault. 

In 2013, there were 19 reported crimes by the first of September. That number dropped to just five last year and is back up to 17 so far this year. 

It's safe to say crime in the area ebbs and flows. This year does not represent some brand new trend.

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