Violent crime dips in south Columbus
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- Columbus Police said violent crime is on the decline so far this year in south Columbus, but they're not certain why.
A Columbus Police crime tracker report shows from January to May 2018, there have been two homicides on the south side compared to eleven the same time in 2017. Aggravated assaults stand at 32, compared to 42 the year prior.
Neighbors say it's a combination of watching out for each other, along with a close relationship with the Columbus Division of Police. The housing market has also helped.
"The neighborhood is turning over in terms of real estate. It's really kicking up property values and homes are selling for a lot more" said South-Central Block Watch President Leah Moehlman.
She said extra light around homes has also been vital.
"We acquired a $500 grant through a city program where we asked for LED light bulbs" she said.
The goal was to make certain there were no dark homes at night in south Columbus.
"We feel if you leave your lights on from dusk until dawn, crime stays more flushed out," Moehlman added.
While violent crime had dipped, the area still faces challenges.
"The robberies have been happening. People are going in and stealing televisions. There's been a huge string in tires stolen. They jack up your car in the middle of the night and steal tires off your car," she said.
Georgett Sheetz has lived in south Columbus for a year. She said while she's had minor problems at her home, the community has lots of back ups.
"The cops, they come around quite often. They've been here on horses, they've been here on bicycles, they've been here in cruisers," she said.
Brett Gregory opened "Two-Dollar Radio Headquarters," a coffee and book shop along Parsons Avenue last September.
He said the area was a good choice for its diversity and sense of community. He said while the area has problems to tackle, the sense of spirit remains.
"The people who come in here, they definitely have a sense of pride, a pride for the south side" Gregory said.