Block Watch programs keeping crime down in Yakima

Block Watch programs keeping crime down in Yakima
"It's even during the day, I had a neighbor down the block from us, she was robbed in broad daylight. They went in and took all her belongings," said Frank Vasquez.

Block Watch Captain Frank Vasquez has seen plenty of crime in his neighborhood.

It's what prompted him to lead his block watch program.

"We were concerned what else might happen. Who was doing this? Why would they do it?" said Vasquez.

Frank says that one of the major places for crime in his neighborhood is the cemetery, because without any street lights, once the sun goes down, it's completely dark.

"In the cemetery a few years ago, my wife and I were awaken to a crack-pop and stuff. And, we looked out and all the hedges were on fire. These trees they were on fire and that was due to vandalism,"said Vasquez.

Yakima police say the these neighborhood networks are working.
I pulled the numbers from last year and found a 50 to 80% drop in burglaries in neighborhoods that started a Block Watch Program.

"Block Watch is your program. The YPD is just here to support those efforts to try to prevent their neighborhood to being victim of crime," said Police Officer Jaime Gonzalez.

There isn't as much crime where there are more block watch programs.

"We've got a lot of neighbors that are watching. You come in our neighborhood and you don't belong here, you're going to have the cops come down on you," said Vasquez.

Frank says his neighbors have done more than cut into burglaries.
He says there aren't as many drugs or drive-by shootings on their streets.