Residents Say City Needs to Fix Lights Before Crime Increases

Neighborhood crime watch
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RENO, NV - Is the city doing enough to curb a recent spike in crime? Residents of an Idlewild community say no. For 6 weeks they've experience burglaries, break-ins and thefts. They say it is all happening because the city has not repaired lights on the walking path near their homes.

Four street lights are supposed to illuminate an 800-foot path behind these homes, but those lights stopped working last month. Residents say they have done everything in their power to get them turned back on, but they have not had a lot of luck.

The path along the Truckee River is loved by people in the Riverfront Condos #2. For many, it's the reason they moved here.

"It's just alive with folks. We have people with little children... We have a specific dad that I love," said Marie Thompson, who lives just off the path.

But recently, the path has brought Marie more worry than happiness.

"They are breaking into the garages. Breaking into our cars in the garages. They're getting on the porches and the decks and stealing things right and left," said Marie.

She says ever since these lights stopped working, criminals have been able to sneak in and sneak out under the cover of darkness. As a solution, the parks department suggests turning on porch lights, but residents say that is not enough.

"I think if we could just get some attention and get our lights back on so that people feel comfortable here again, that would be great," said Marie.

But after dozens of calls and 6 weeks of waiting, Reno still has not fixed the lights. Parks officials say there is a short in the line and they only have one technician who can fix it. His priority right now is getting ball fields ready for spring.

"I think a safety issue should be far put above any sports or any other kind of venue," said Ron Bishop, another

Ron Bishop is worried that with the lights off, the criminals are becoming more brazen. Last week, he says they slit his neighbor's screen door and tried to get in.

"To come along like they did and try to get into the homes like they did that makes it even more scary," said Bishop

The Parks Department says it's taking them so long because it is a complicated fix. They don't know where the short is and they have to run a 'tracer' to find out where it is. There is only one person in the parks department who can do that. Residents say waiting 6 weeks is a little too long.