Ballard residents fed up with crime, looking for ways to fight back

SEATTLE  --  Neighbors in Ballard say it’s not what it used to be. Some say it's gotten so bad, their considering moving to a safer place.

“I find myself looking over my shoulder all the time, every day, as I’m walking down the street.  I’ve lost my sense of security in the neighborhood,” says Tom D.

His neighbor, Anne Swetonic, says, “The thing that has become just really difficult is the constant barrage of petty crime”.

The area they call home, near NW 45th Street, is lately feeling anything but like home.

Everyone in this group says they've either had their homes or cars broken into -- or both.

“Last week my son’s car windows were smashed and broken into right in front of our house. We've had things stolen off our front porch. I've had my car broken into several times. We had somebody break into our house,” says Swetonic.

“The car thefts, the break-ins, our next door neighbor was robbed a couple months ago. Our neighbors across the street were robbed in the middle of the day.  I mean everything changed in the last 21 years, but, boy, the last couple weeks we feel like it’s been on fire,” says Lyn Porterfield.

Just last week, neighbors say, they were scared out of their beds after a trailer exploded in flames down the street.  They feel the trailers parked in the area, for days at a time, only add to the problems.

So they're putting their heads together, documenting crime, even considering digging into their own wallets to hire off-duty officers.  Seattle police say it's important for neighbors to communicate like this, whether it’s on sites like, Twitter or just face to face.

And not just in this neighborhood, but in any area.

And it’s even more important that you report any type of crime or suspicious activity in your neighborhood. That way police can document the events and decide how great the need is for extra patrols.

Neighbors in Ballard say they're doing just that, and they'll continue to do so. But they're just not sure it’s enough.

“It’s not the same as it was and I think people are pretty fed up with it,” says Porterfield.

Neighbors say they plan to petition the city for new parking rules.  They are also considering starting their own neighborhood crime watch.