GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Gulfport councilwoman Ella Homes Hines lives in the Rolling Meadows neighborhood, and after four burglaries in just four days, she's on a march against crime.
"What I'm stating to most of those I spoke to for five hours: If you haven't seen them in the neighborhood this year, dial 911, because they don't belong here," said Hines, who noted that the burglaries all happen in the morning between 9 and 10 a.m. "We know that these are young people out here that have decided they're going to perpetrate on hard-working citizens and it will stop."
Hines and Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania are planning a meeting with neighbors at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Isiah Fredericks Community Center. Residents in the community say the area is a wonderful place to live, and that's why they're so concerned about the recent rash of burglaries.
Their method of fighting back - not to back down, and communicate with each other.
Michelle Rogers has lived on 34th Avenue for 11 years. But last week - for the first time - she was burglarized.
"I feel like I've been invaded," Rogers said. "When it first happened, I couldn't sleep. My stomach was all torn up. It was very hard, I just was shocked to know that was the one that was going to be burglarized. I'm always watching out for my other neighbors."
The suspects were caught about 40 minutes later and Michelle's husband Carl says it's because everyone watches out for one another. Since there have been burglaries since the Rogers' home was hit, the neighbors will have to be even more careful.
"We're going to be more vigilant for our neighbors and we're going to watch out for them; they're going to watch out for us. We're going to be out brother's keeper; we're going to support the police and make sure they're able to do their jobs more efficiently," said the homeowner.